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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
Thorns for Raisel is a gripping novel from Sandra Perez Gluschankoff and a superb meld of historical fiction and crime that starts in the heart of a crisis. It’s been a well-anticipated day for Veronica Simon, one for which she’s put in so much energy. The renowned activist Dame Salva, who championed women’s rights, is ready for her last address in a hall filled to capacity. But the famous activist is shot by an old hat-maker called Raisel Wisnik! Raisel refuses to speak to the police. She will only open up to one woman: Veronica. Her story starts in 1922 and involves slavery, a painful path that led her to where she was. But what is most mind-boggling is how she crossed paths with the legendary activist.
This is a story that will arouse emotions in readers and one in which the reader is torn between loving the criminal and having sympathy for the victim. The twists are powerful and at every moment, the reader has to pause and rethink how the story unfolds. The plot is complex and the characters multidimensional. Nothing is what it seems and the author deftly handles the themes of human rights, slavery, and freedom. What appears to be a random, senseless killing turns out to have strong foundations in a woman’s past. Thorns for Raisel is highly descriptive and the prose has a music of its own. The story starts with a bang that awakens interest in the reader, but the grip keeps them turning the pages, curious to discover why people are the way they are. It is a satisfying story for fans of historical crime.