Unjust Revenge

Isabel Bratt

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 329 Price: (paperback) $22.38 ISBN: 9781483675008 Reviewed: December, 2013 Author Website: Visit »

A chilling tale of a mother’s worst nightmare, Unjust Revenge revolves around the mysterious disappearance of the protagonist’s daughter.

Katie Oliver attends St. Andrews School, a competitive all-girls high school in London. She is very excited to participate in the mother-daughter fashion show that the school is putting on, but when her mother Beth, a Detective Chief Investigator (DCI) with the London police department, doesn’t arrive, she impulsively runs from the auditorium, upset that her workaholic mother is, once again, a no-show. When Katie doesn’t resurface after the show, Beth and her husband, Matt, are forced to wonder whether something sinister has happened to their beloved daughter.

The novel starts out simply enough: a fashion show at a high school. But things quickly fall apart as Matt begins to blame Beth for Katie’s disappearance. Author Isabel Bratt keeps the novel moving at a steady pace; she develops her characters well and writes in a straightforward, breezy manner. Readers will be hooked on the plot, wanting to know what happened to Katie and whether or not she’ll ever be found.

There are some minor drawbacks to the reading experience, however. The author’s ubiquitous use of passive voice (“Next, the door was opened, and Beth’s hospital bed was rushed down the corridor…”) can be jarring. The dialogue’s stilted and unrealistic nature is distracting (a teenage girl isn’t likely to say, “Hey! Don’t crease my dress or mess my hair”). And an editor’s eye could have pinpointed punctuation errors and other details (such as the misspelling of Chanel as Channel).

That being said, the strength of the plot and questions surrounding Katie’s disappearance overcome these technical frustrations. Overall, the story is engaging and compelling enough to keep mystery fans hooked throughout.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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