Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Warner Books, Inc.  
Release Date: July 2003
ISBN: 0446527548
Format Reviewed: Hardcover
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Genre: Mystery
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Barbara Buhrer
Reviewer Notes:

Nancy Geary

     Frances Pratt receives an invitation to the wedding of her cousin, Hope Lawrence.

     The wedding is to be held in Manchester-by-the-Sea where Frances had spent many happy childhood vacations at the home of her aunt and uncle.

     When Frances arrives at Manchester she finds that this is not the idyllic setting she remembered.

     Hope, who is to marry her childhood sweetheart, Jack Cabot, is unhappy about the forthcoming wedding. She is really is love with lobsterman Carl LeFleur.

     On the day of the wedding Hope is found dead, hanged in her room.

     The original verdict is suicide, but further investigation rules her death as murder.

     Because of her past experience as a prosecutor, Frances is drawn into the investigation. Before the real murderer is unmasked, Frances uncovers many dark secrets from the past.

     This is a well written, well plotted story.

     The affluent society with its social mores is well portrayed. The characters are complex in their stresses and pressures of their way of life.

     It is difficult to decide how to evaluate Hope. Was she weak bowing to her upbringing? Confused by the conflicts in her life? Or strong in defense of her religious beliefs?

     The descriptions of the locale are beautifully portrayed.

     It is a story that presents many questions.

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