Monday, August 5, 2013

Book Review: Valley of Ashes by Cornelia Read

Title: Valley of Ashes
Series: Madeline Dare #4
Author: Cornelia Read
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 14, 2012)
Genre: Mystery/Women's Fiction

Format Read: Hardback
Length: Novel
Source: Publisher 

Madeline Dare trades New York's gritty streets for the tree-lined avenues of Boulder, Colorado when her husband Dean lands a promising job. Madeline, now a full-time homemaker and mother to beautiful toddler twin girls, has achieved everything she thought she always wanted, but with her husband constantly on the road, she's fighting a losing battle against the Betty Friedan riptide of suburban/maternal exhaustion, angst, and sheer loneliness. A new freelance newspaper gig helps her get her mojo back, but Boulder isn't nearly as tranquil as it seems: there's a serial arsonist at large in the city. As Madeline closes in on the culprit, the fires turn deadly-and the stakes tragically personal. She'll need every ounce of strength and courage she has to keep the flames from reaching her own doorstep, threatening all she holds most dear. 


Teaser: “Ah, just what I’ve always yearned for ...,” I said, feeling the sides of the sweatshirt I’d slept in grow instantly hot and wet against my skin, “leakage.” 

On the bright side, their crib sheets were still dry. [p. 85 Hardback. These lines could make someone not really want babies. LOL!]

Review: Madeline Dare can only stand by and watch as everything she loves goes up in flames in Cornelia Read’s Valley of Ashes.

Although I haven’t read the previous Madeline Dare novels, I found the storyline easy to pick up. Madeline struggles to keep her house together with twin children while trying to regain a sense of her independence back by picking up a newspaper gig. Her husband seems more content to be away from his family than with them, and I felt Madeline’s frustration and helplessness at her situation.

The mystery about the fires seemed to take second place to Madeline and her family’s issues. This novel was very character driven, although the plot still was fast-paced. Madeline’s focus was very much on her twins, who could make a childless reader want to consider remaining that way. 

Valley of Ashes by Cornelia Read touches the heart and is a compelling read.

Five Bookworms = I loved it!