Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Review: The Perfect Fraud by Ellen LaCorte

Kerry Hammond is here with her review of a debut novel of suspense.

The Perfect Fraud by Ellen LaCorte was published on June 18, in Hardcover, by Harper publishers. After a long career in Human Resources, LaCorte has tried her hand at writing and The Perfect Fraud is her debut novel. It’s a well-done first book and I have no doubt there will be more.

The book toggles between two protagonists: Rena, a young mother who is dealing with a small child who has a chronic illness that doctors have been unable to diagnose, and Claire, a tarot card reader whose only abilities lie in being good at guessing what her customers want to hear from their psychic. Both women are struggling with their own demons. Rena spends every waking hour with her daughter but gets no answers. Claire is caught in a rut, avoiding phone calls from her mother and future plans with her boyfriend Cal.

A chance encounter on an airplane put the two women’s lives on the same path. Their encounter eventually leads to an awakening for both Rena and Claire, but these awakenings both come with consequences.

LaCorte’s debut is an enjoyable pager-turner. I would categorize it as a novel of suspense with a few twists and turns to leave the reader guessing. I found her characters engaging and I enjoyed the way she unraveled their stories, piece by piece, so that I didn’t see what was coming until it was right in front of me. I’m not sure if this will be the start of a new series, but I can definitely see Claire continue her tarot readings in a future installment. Great summer read!

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review was fair and completely independent.

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