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The Affliction
Maggie Detweiler and Hope Babbin #2
BY Beth Gutcheon

William Morrow
November 27, 2018/ ISBN 9780062432001
Amateur Mystery

Reviewed by Jen Oliver

The Affliction reintroduces Maggie Detweiler and her socialite friend Hope Babbin. What starts off as an evaluation of a faltering boarding school called Rye Manor School for Girls, turns into a murder investigation of a respected teacher who liked to talk….a lot. Who would want to kill Florence Meagher? Her husband who didn’t always treat her right? Some random stranger? Someone involved in some questionable real estate goings-on at the school?

The setting of The Affliction added some ambiance to the story, as it being a boarding school in Upstate New York. This reader has been in the area so could picture what the school and area looked like; other readers might not be able to have a clear picture. There were some minor characters who this reader is wondering why they had a part in the overall story. They did not seem to add necessary information in regard to the murder or the investigation. There was confusion on why Hope would be involved as she was not part of the evaluation committee that Maggie was on that brought her to the school, other than being Maggie’s friend. The cast of suspects was a solid one, but the characterization of the police detectives ruined it.
What started off as strong and had good potential of being a good mystery, fell flat at the end. This reader feels that there was no clear solution to some of the suspects-like why they were no longer suspects. The very ending could be disturbing to some readers, but was good for the character as it was one of their biggest fears brought to life.

Reviewed 2019