***** Heart wrenching mystery
Marilyn Freeman portrays a family at the apex of their relationship until the unexpected occurs. Jack Long, father, and husband, feels distanced from his wife after the years it took to have their child Toby. Grace hovers over her son, limiting Jack’s alone time. One day father and son get to spend a day at the beach.
The descriptions immerse the readers in place throughout the book. One initially feels the sand between their toes, hears the waves, enjoys the warm weather, and celebrates bonding. The love between these two, even though the intelligent Toby is young, emanates from the actions of playing and laughing at the beach together. Ms. Freeman does a marvelous job of painting all the scenes throughout the story that draws upon all the senses.
The characters’ distinctive personalities show in their actions and dialogue. When Toby disappears, the emotional upheaval runs the gambit from fear to guilt then blame. The tragedy of the follow-on events continues for ten years after the day on the beach. Jack becomes a shell of a man bent on survival with only a tiny spark of hope buried deep in his heart.
At first blush, you think you know the answers, but this mystery will surprise you repeatedly. The twists and turns of this mystery will have mystery fans trying to determine the proper actions of the characters. The unexpected elements sprinkled in just the right places will make you weep or shout for joy.
The narration of Maria Johnson holds the right pace for the story from start to finish. The voice acting is superb, with voices easily discernable as the story progresses. Listeners will hear the perfect intonation suited to the scene and characters. The accents were impeccable. I highly recommend this for mystery lovers, especially those fond of English settings and dialogue.
About the Author
I was born in Oldham in 1946. It wasn’t until Covid 19 struck and we were forced to spend long days in isolation, that I finally got down to some serious writing. To my surprise, as I began my first novel, Karma; A Mystery in Paris, the words flowed easily and the plot kind of developed a life of its own. As I brought my characters to life on my computer screen, they began to act out the story quite outside my control. It was a kind of magic! I enjoyed the experience so much that I was soon creating my second novel, Secrets and Lives, a domestic thriller based in the beautiful city of Bath. I am fascinated by the way decisions taken with the best of intentions, can have unintended and sometimes tragic consequences that often resonate down the generations.
I have now completed my fourth novel, Love Ties: An Unbreakable Bond. I am still loving the freedom writing gives me to create a complete world, populated by interesting people who, like most of us, are just trying to live out their lives, to love who they want, and in most cases to ‘do no harm’ to others. If only life was that simple!
If you would like to know more, please visit my website www.spellbrooktales.com and sign up to my newsletter.
About the Narrator
Maria Johnson is an improv performer, audiobook narrator, jazz singer, painter, avid reader and dog-lover.
Born and raised in Northern England, Maria kept her parents laughing from an early age with her impressions of all the accents she could lay her ears on. She travelled extensively in her early years as a fashion model, and lived in Germany, Italy, and France (and speaks fluent French). At the age of 18, she moved to New York City for her career in modeling and acting. She later earned her BA in Liberal Arts with emphasis in literature, psychology, and art.
She has worked on many voice-over projects from commercials to film narration, and produces audiobooks from her professional studio.
A great admirer of Mother Nature, Maria hikes in the mountains of Northern New Mexico whenever she can, with her adorable dog.