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The Stepchild–does the past really stay in the past?

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The Stepchild

by Joanne Fluke

The StepchildIf you are a fan of Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen cooking mysteries, you will be surprised and possibly disappointed by The Stepchild. I know Fluke has a huge following for the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series. I found the one I read too syrupy sweet with the emphasis on the personal lives of flat characters and their recipes.

The Stepchild is a completely different type of book. I would classify it as a psychological thriller. It begins with a prologue that focuses on two dramatic events. Then the scene fast forwards to describe the sudden problems of Kathi Ellison whose father is only a few weeks away from becoming a senator. There is a life changing secret in Kathi’s past that even Kathi does not know about.

Three quarters of the way through the book I almost stopped reading it because of what appears to be a strong paranormal aspect. I am glad I continued on to the end as the story progresses in a different and unexpected direction with surprising implications. The Stepchild is an unsettling read, but a good one.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Category: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thriller

Publication: July 25,2017—Kensington Books

Memorable Lines:

To succeed in political circles he had to give up something, the same as in everything else. In the city you had to give up nature, in a marriage you had to give up privacy, and in politics you had to give up little pieces of yourself, carefully doled out in meetings and speeches, making your life smaller with each passing encounter. It was almost like bleeding, and Doug sometimes wondered what would happen when he was bled dry.

Now that she was awake, sleep eluded her like a fickle lover, tempting her by making her body warm and drowsy, but forcing her eyes to open.

And now, in the late fall, the leaves were swirling in the wind, blowing up against the wooden snow fences, gathering in piles. She could see the woods by the side of the narrow road, the carpet of fallen leaves and the lovely, deep darkness behind the bordering trees.

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2 Comments

  1. I like this cover better than they one I got. It was an interesting book, I almost stopped reading it at times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      I noticed the change in book cover too. This one seemed a little more appropriate for a psychological thriller than the one we have. It must be a little frustrating for the artist to have the whole direction of the cover changed.

      Liked by 1 person

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