As dawn breaks, the pale body of a beautiful, raven-haired young woman is discovered in an errant swan boat, adrift on a small lake, smack in the middle of a jewel-like park in Downtown Orlando. It looks like a suicide, Snow White in a fractured fairy tale. Body-language expert Julie O'Hara, isn't buying it. And that's a BIG problem, since Julie is the one person most likely to figure it out.
©2010 Lee Hanson (P)2015 Lee Hanson
This book was intense! I started it right on the heels of finishing the first Julie O’Hara mystery, “Castle Cay,” and finished “Swan Song” in just a couple days. All of the positive things I had to say about “Castle Cay”—strong characters, good pacing, great mystery—are raised to whole new level in “Swan Song.” So much character development and human drama is packed into a relatively short space. I really liked the approach this time around of interspersing the “present-day” scenes of the story with flashbacks from the perspectives of the victim and various key people in her life. We even get some brief scenes from the murderer’s point of view, but the author is careful not to reveal too much. The back-story of the victim (as well as a significant person in her life) unfolds with lots of tension, action, and emotion, but doesn’t feel overly exposition-y. It is also quite heartbreaking at times. But the resolution is satisfying, and I think readers will find it ends on a positive, hopeful note.
Fantastic delivery once again from narrator Paula Slade. All of the drama and depth of emotion from these characters really came across in her performance. I confess that a few of the scenes genuinely made me tear up.
Am looking forward to listening to the third installment of this series, “Mistral Murder”!
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