On My Bookshelf: The Lost Concerto by Helaine MarioSeptember 07, 2015
This is a sponsored post. I received this product for free in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own.
Basic plot: The novel begins in Europe with a woman, Sofia Orsini, and her young son, Thomas, running for their lives. They are unsuccessful in their attempts to hide from their pursuer and the scene ends with the Sofia's death and the disappearance of the young boy. The novel then jumps time (about a year) and across the ocean to Boston, where Maggie O'Shea, a famous pianist, is grieving for her late husband as well as her best friend Sofia, and is frustrated that no progress has been made in finding her godson Thomas. Maggie's husband died in boating accident while in Europe searching for Thomas.
Enter Simon Sugarman, a special agent with the US government, who hopes Maggie can help him find Thomas, and track down his father, Victor Orsini, a suspected terrorist. Also a friend of Sofia's, Simon feels responsible for her death since he facilitated her introduction to Victor. Plot lines become even more complicated when Simon shows Maggie a picture of Victor that also features Zachary Law, the father of Maggie's son who Maggie believed to be long dead. Maggie agrees to travel to Europe to seek out Zach and hopefully find Thomas under the protection of Colonel Michael Beckett.
Maggie's trip to Europe is filled with peril and near death misses, but in the end everyone finds what they were looking for and maybe more.
Why I liked it: Suspense thrillers are not my normal picks for reading, but I enjoyed the fast pace of the plot and the references to famous musicians of the past. I also thought that the characters were well developed, each of them struggling to reconcile their past with the present. Particularly well crafted was the "bad guy" Dane, who officially creeped me out each time he appeared. Some of the coincidences in the plot were a little unbelievable, but I appreciated the author's attempt to tie everything together.
Classroom application: I might include this in my classroom library if I was teaching upper high school grades and recommend it to students who like suspense, thrillers, or mystery. However, it has some violence and mature sexual themes (nothing too graphic), but definitely one that you would want to read first to be comfortable recommending it to students.
For more reading suggestions for students and teachers:
Note: The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.