Finding Sylvia

Fiction - Mystery - General
234 Pages
Reviewed on (not set)
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite

Finding Sylvia by Alan Shayne is a gripping, suspenseful mystery that will have readers turning the pages nonstop. Judd is a movie producer who is in search of new inspiration, but it seems the one thing that occupies his mind is the sudden disappearance of the woman he’d once loved; the stunning English girl, Sylvia, that he can’t get over. Something tells him she is still alive, so he sets out to locate her. Follow him in this gripping story as he searches for clues, moving from Connecticut to Hollywood, New York, London, Israel, and Spain. But can he find her? Each step he takes unveils a new discovery about the woman he once loved; each step he takes makes him question everything he ever knew about her. Can he solve the mystery of Sylvia?

Alan Shayne had me captivated from the very beginning of this story, a tale of passion, love, and one man’s quest for the truth about the woman he can’t get over. The story is swiftly paced and readers will find it impossible to take their eyes off the protagonist, even for a moment. The plot is intelligently written, the work of a great imagination, and readers will have sudden jolts with the unexpected surprises that punctuate the plot. The writing is excellent, featuring great conversations and vivid descriptions. Finding Sylvia is a wonderful story that brilliantly explores the theme of obsession, a story with memorable characters. The conflict escalates pretty fast and the denouement is awesome. It was a hugely entertaining story, a hard-to-put-down read.

Deborah Lloyd

Judd Morgan, a somewhat successful actor with the desire to become a producer, lived a quiet life in Still River, Connecticut. He was a widower who missed his wife deeply, but cherished the friendships in the small town. When Stuart Chase, a retired executive from Twentieth Century Fox, and his mistress, Lady Sylvia Royce, an Englishwoman, moved there too, a friendship began. There were dinners at local restaurants and parties with a large group of friends. Judd and Sylvia also had opportunities to spend time together, when Stuart decided to accept a new position in Los Angeles. Judd learned about her early life in India, as well as her marriage to Sir Richard Royce. However, at times Sylvia had a mysterious air, as it seemed she was hiding some kind of secret. Then, she disappeared, without saying a word to Judd. Eventually, he decided to find her. In Finding Sylvia, author Alan Shayne lays the groundwork for an intriguing tale of suspense and romance.

This novel has a cast of interesting characters – from the many people involved in film production on the West Coast, to the quirky townspeople in Still River, to an antiquities dealer in Jerusalem. The skillful author moves the story along at a perfect pace. There is just the right amount of detail for the reader to see beautiful scenes and sense the disharmony or peace in a situation. The story flows seamlessly. Alan Shayne has written an unforgettable novel in Finding Sylvia. It is a splendid novel!

Susan Sewell

An aspiring movie producer is tracking down shadowy clues of a missing woman in the mystery novel Finding Sylvia by Alan Shayne. Several years earlier, Judd Morgan knew success as a star in a hit television series. After the premature death of his wife, Judd returns to their home in the small New England town, filled with remorse for not having spent enough time with her. At a party, Judd meets Lady Sylvia, the companion of a former Hollywood Head of a Studio and they soon forge a friendship. Judd's dream is to produce movies, but he can't seem to get anyone to take him seriously. Struggling to make a place for himself, Judd takes a trip to Hollywood to pitch some of his ideas. While he is away, Sylvia disappears. Troubled and confused, Judd follows the advice of an influential friend; deciding to write a script about the biggest regret and mystery of his life. Not only will he be solving a distressing riddle, but he will also be collecting material for a film. Will Judd find what he is searching for? Can he finally unlock the puzzle that is Sylvia?

Filled with references to Hollywood's early classic iconic movies, Finding Sylvia by Alan Shayne is an intriguing story written in the style of a memoir. All of the major characters' histories are intertwined, mingling the past with the present, creating a fascinating montage. Sylvia's character is an enigma and is cloaked beneath a web of mystery, stringing the reader along until the surprising conclusion. Judd's character is not only looking for what he may have lost in the past, but he is also hunting for his future; providing his character with a diffident and uncertain aura. The reader will be captured by the travels to exotic places and captivated with the inner quirks of Hollywood's social set, while Judd attempts to resolve his life ambitions and make his place in the film industry. I would recommend this book to readers that love mystery interlaced with romance.