Fiction - Mystery - Murder
342 Pages
Reviewed on 05/03/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Sonja is the story of a woman who is trying to find her place in the world, while still staying true to herself, and to discover who she is. Swedish beauty, curvaceous body and a vivacious personality describe Sonja perfectly. Beautiful with dreams of becoming the best ever, she enters the world of modeling with the hope of succeeding and fulfilling her dream. However, it is not easy and Sonja knew that. Becoming a model was the easy part, but keeping the promise she made to her parents was the hardest thing in her life. All her life, she knew that she had to save her virtue for the man she marries, but everything is not as easy as she thought it would be. She is tested when she has to do a nude photo shoot, but that is just the beginning. Things are not as they seem or are they? There is something fishy going on and Sonja might be at the center of it. Can Sonja keep her life together while the world is crashing down around her?

Sonja by Ron Stock is a mystery that had me sitting on the edge of my seat and begging for more. This is a mystery that had me guessing how the story would end and what would happen to Sonja. Boy, was this an intense story that maintained a steady pace to keep my heart racing. I wanted to read it the way the writer wanted the story to be read, but I also wanted to read the end and find out what happened. The characters were beautifully developed and the pace of the story was not too fast or too slow. Sonja was an enigma that had me guessing as to what she wanted, who she was and where she wanted to go. I loved it. I loved everything about the story from start to end! Very enjoyable.

Jamie Michele

Sonja by Ron Stock is a murder mystery that follows Sonja, a highly regarded model with a successful career. This is a blessing and a curse as the backstory unfolds and we learn about her upbringing and her life, the story moving back and forth between then and now. The unearthing is done while her own murder is being investigated and ancillary characters are brought to the forefront. In addition to the murder mystery, there are subplots that intrigue as much as they push the riddle deeper into the plot. This is intensified by a conspiracy, a corporate financial crisis, and an upbringing that ticks all the boxes for an extensive story that wallops boldly through a read that isn't as page heavy as one might expect in a book so tightly constructed.

Sonja by Ron Stock is packed with twists and enough baiting throughout the mystery to keep the pages turning. All of Stock's framework is convincing and, unlike with many books that fall into a similar genre, it did not require suspension of disbelief. That says a great deal when we're talking about virginal fashion models and a murder mystery. The writing itself is tight and deftly executed with descriptions that bring the scenes to life. A particular favorite of mine was: "Death was swift. She died as Detective Hanley found her, with her once photogenic face contorted like The Scream." This is a great story with some wonderful subplots and really nicely fleshed-out characters. I'd recommend Sonja to those who appreciate a well-developed mystery with just enough tension to make it a worthwhile weekend read.

Ankita Shukla

Ron Stock's Sonja is one of the most glamorous murder mysteries that I have read so far. A model, named Di, was found dead at her apartment. The stench in the apartment and the severely deteriorated condition of the corpse suggested that she died days before being discovered. In fact, it was the sickening smell that indicated something was not right in Di's apartment. Everything in the flat screamed natural death; however, detective Shane Hanley had a job to perform and he could not rule out a probable homicide until his investigation was complete. Although the body's condition was so bad that nobody in their right mind would have suspected her to be a model, Shane was bound by duty. When he checked Di's cell phone, he was astonished to see his best friend Jonas' number in her outgoing messages. In order to save Jonas from being implicated in this murder, he quickly deleted the text message that Di had sent to him. As the investigation moved forward, many high profile names begin appearing in the list of suspects, including Sonja, Jonas' wife and a well-known model.

Since the center of the story is the murder of a model, the plot is undoubtedly packed with glamour. Various aspects of the modeling world are presented in all their glory. There is nothing that I did not like about this book. I loved the author's impeccable writing style, the tasteful dialogues of the characters, the believable plot, and above all, the story-telling. The author created a mystery that never bored me. He presented the pasts of the characters in such a way that I connected with and understood them. I believed the characters and understood their actions. If I were in their shoes, I would have acted the same way; the moment this thought pops into my mind, I know that I am in love with the book in my hand. Ron Stock's Sonja reminded me of a Bollywood movie, Fashion, one of my favorite movies of all time. Like the leading ladies of Fashion, Sonja and Di also lost themselves in the race to stardom and fame. When the offers stopped coming their way, they got desperate and foolish. Time flew while I was reading this book and I could not put it down once I picked it up.

Divine Zape

Sonja by Ron Stock introduces readers to a very compelling character and features powerful themes and very strong plot points. It’s a murder mystery that will have readers spellbound. She was born to Swedish parents and grew up to be a stunning beauty, the kind of woman who could ignite flames in a man, but she’d grown up with the virtue of virginity instilled in her by her parents. An icon in the modeling industry and a woman who adored admiration, she’d kept her virtue until the fateful day she did a shoot for a major fashion house’s new perfume with the renowned Indian actor, Raj Kotor. A nude shoot quickly turns into a one night stand that ends with the promise of Sonja spending time together with the Indian actor. But that day won’t come as the actor dies in a fatal accident. Di, Sonja’s best friend and confidante, gets jealous of Sonja leaving her alone to travel to her parents, and for not helping her in spite of the fact that she is blessed with many modeling gigs and a very rich husband. But could Sonja be behind the radioactive watch that killed Di? A lot for the reader to discover.

This is a good story with memorable characters and a great plot. The characters are well-developed and relatable. I enjoyed the way the author explored the complexities and the allure of the modeling industry. The conflict is fairly strong, but readers will discover that the plot is character-driven and the author’s focus seems to be on how fame can affect our perception of self and others. I loved how the themes of friendship and family come out in the narrative. It took a while for the conflict to reach a climax, and the build-up wasn’t as intense as I would have liked. But, overall, Sonja scores great success on several levels, with compelling characters like Raphael, Sonja, Di, Raj, a great international setting, and strong plot points. It was an enjoyable read.