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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
The instant I saw that Eileen Hare-Scott was the author of The Letter, I snapped it up: I had so enjoyed reading and reviewing her book, A Chain of Events, so I knew The Letter would be an engaging read. And it didn’t disappoint! Hare-Scott’s plots are so intricate, coherent and skillfully executed that they leave no loose ends. Then there’s her characterization: superb! On top of that, it’s amazing how beautifully she captures both romantic and family love in the midst of murder and mayhem.
The Letter is centred on the life of the beautiful, but spoiled Annabel Lowther who aspires to wealth and position. To secure both for herself, she marries the arrogant and narcissistic Viscount Edward Chelmsford. What Annabel doesn’t know about Edward costs her dearly, both physically and mentally. It also costs the life of her best friend, Edward’s sister, Dorothy. But before all this, Annabel makes a highly emotional, uninformed decision to reject her loving mother, Kathleen, who has just lost her husband and has been left in dire financial straits. Now apart, both women forge new lives for themselves. As they do, a fascinating and frightening plot unfolds around them involving Edward, his unsavory, dangerous cronies, drug running and murder. Neither woman knows what the other is living with, but if readers believe in the theory of the six degrees of separation, they will get a charge out of how well that theory applies to The Letter.
Aside from the complicated and riveting plot, those who have ever wondered how well any of us really know each other, even those whom we love, will find much to think about in examining the actions and motivations behind so many characters in this story. And there are lots of them. But the reader feels no confusion because Hare-Scott has a tight hold on all characters and situations. Nothing short of 5 stars would do justice to The Letter when it comes to an absorbing and touching read. Can’t wait for another novel by Eileen Hare-Scott!