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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Deirdre Flynn is a wise, feisty, and kindly 70-year-old. When she accompanies her adopted niece, fear-filled Leah, and Leah’s wild and wilful 17-year-old step-daughter, Belinda, to the sunny beaches of France, none of them expects to find dead dogs on their doorstep, massacred chickens, and murdered babies. Nor do they understand how suspicion is now falling on them for various strange happenings in the local area. Leah’s ex-husband, a lawyer, is currently in prison. Could some of his more nefarious clients be somehow exacting revenge on Leah? Try as they might to enjoy the beauty and culture of their temporary location and its wealthy, aristocratic society, Leah and Deirdre sense something’s amiss. As for young Belinda, she is bewitched, bothered, and bewildered by her primary companion, the brilliant but spoiled Sophie. When everything comes to a most unexpected explanation and ending, readers sit back smiling and satisfied by a tale well told!
Until I read A Year in the Life of Deirdre Flynn, I was unfamiliar with Lucinda E Clarke. Given her prolific writing skills in various genres, excellent reviews, and many author awards, I’m almost ashamed of my unfamiliarity, but after reading this one of three books in her psychological thriller series, I’m a stranger no more and a fan forever. As much as I enjoyed the clever plot, the delightfully done descriptions of the settings, the humorous touches, and the very colorful cast of characters, what I relished most was Clarke’s realistic and entertaining depiction of the frustrations of a modern-day teen dealing with middle-aged to senior elders. I could so easily envision my own 18-year-old granddaughter thinking, speaking, and acting exactly like Belinda, and I saw myself not unlike Deirdre in more ways than one. In short, when readers can so readily relate to fictional characters, you know the author has done an excellent job. Now I can’t wait to get into the next book on my shelf awaiting a review, A Year in the Life of Andrea Coe. Surprised? I did mention in my opening that I am now a fan forever, didn’t I?