It’s been a while since I’ve been on a cruise. However, I do remember there was always so much to do: hanging out at the various bars, nightly entertainment, delicious food, gambling, etc. I would also watch people sometimes get so drunk I wondered how they made it back to their cabins. Anyway, I was drawn to this book’s cover, it’s title and the storyline which the author weaved into a wonderful story of suspense and intrigue. 

Meet Shelby Sloan, a hardworking mother who is babysitting her grandson, Jeremy while her daughter Chloe and her husband, Rob is on a much-needed cruise vacation she had given them as a Christmas gift. With only three days left before Chloe and Rob are due back home, Shelby gets a call from Rob saying that Chloe’s missing. Shelby’s life is turned upside down as she hurriedly catches a flight to St. Thomas to get answers and to try to find her daughter. 

When she arrives at the police station, the FBI and the Coast Guard have been searching for hours until they finally call off the search for Chloe. Unable to accept that, Shelby dips into her own funds and privately hires a search team and they didn’t turn up anything either. Reality sets in that Chloe is gone forever. However, Shelby is more adamant than ever to find out how and why her daughter died.     

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Without giving away a lot, the story was chock full of surprising twists and turns amidst secrets and lies. The author did a great job in developing the characters and their motivations. Shelby’s family dynamic: her socially awkward sister, Talia Winter who holds a PhD (an expert on artificial intelligence); her brother, Glen Winter, having brushes with the law; and their alcoholic mother, Estelle who has been “either disruptive or absent in their lives” were well fleshed out. Even describing the blending of Chloe’s family with Rob’s ex-wife, Lianna and their daughter, Molly was realistic. The dialogue, the angst, the pain, the confusion at learning certain things about Chloe, and reconciling everything were all well done. Great read and one I would recommend! 

Some of my favorite lines: 

Shelby suddenly found the sight of Rob’s hapless expression infuriating. “That doesn’t explain anything,” she said. “How could she have fallen overboard? Rob, people don’t just fall overboard.”

“There was a balcony outside our bedroom,” he said.

Shelby recalled the brochures, remembered choosing the nicest cabin for them. She had pictured them eating breakfast on their balcony. Watching the sunset from their private little deck.

“They think she fell from the balcony. They found her sandal on the awning below it,” he said.

 Shelby felt as if she could not draw in a breath. She knew instantly that the Image of that single sandal, flung off in flight, would haunt her days forever. 

Rating: 4 stars  

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Originally Published on https://vocalexpressions.blogspot.com

Deliah Lawrence Attorney, Author, Blogger, Workshop Facilitator

Deliah Lawrence is a Maryland-based attorney and award-winning author of two romantic suspense novels (Gotta Let It Go and Gotta Get It Back) set in Baltimore. She’s also a blogger and workshop facilitator who writes poetry and short stories.

When Deliah isn’t writing, you can find her reading a book, indulging in her addiction to investigation discovery shows; or painting her yet-to-be exhibited oil artworks of landscapes, portraits or whatever else comes to her creative mind. Constantly on the go, she is also a member of the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland and Sisters in Crime.

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