Clutch of Phantoms
By Clare Layton
Poisoned Pen Press - August 2002
ISBN: 1-59058-027-3 - Hardcover
Mystery / Suspense

Reviewed by Beverly J. Rowe, MyShelf.Com
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Cass Evesham is one of the few women stockbrokers in London and is working hard to prove herself. Just when she scores a masterstroke of achievement and is feeling very good about her accomplishment, her lover abruptly ends their affair, telling her that he never really loved her but has loved his wife all along. She is reeling from the shock of that when she learns that the famous murderess, Livia Claughton, the "Harpy," is the grandmother that she thought was dead. Livia is being released from prison after 25 years and moved into a safe house under an assumed name. She had been convicted of murdering her husband and his lover.

Julia Gainsborough, the actress daughter of the famous diva who was a murder victim of the "Harpy," is trying to shore up her failing career.

Nothing is quite what is seems in this fast-paced, powerful novel, and none of the three women's lives will ever be the same.

When Cass is visiting her Grandmother in the Cumbrian Village where she lives, a man knocks on the door in the winter night, and then passes out. They care for the unconscious man who is suffering from exposure and exhaustion, and the story takes yet another turn. It explores questions about violence and life changes and keeps you guessing. The characters are unforgettable and the plot is well thought out for a grand read. Plan to start this one when you have lots of won't want to put it down.

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