A Gentle Thief
By Amanda Dickson
Maddie Johnson loved Shakespeare. Unlike everybody else she knew growing up, she seemed to understand him, enjoy him, more with every reading. It was partly because of this love that she drove her home in rural Pennsylvania to college to Southern Utah University, home every summer to the Utah Shakespearean Festival. It was partly that, and partly desire to get as far away as possible.
Maddie thought being in Utah would help her forget, that the stark beauty of the scenery and the power of the metaphor would be enough to clear her.
The novel unfolds in two time periods, 2004 as Sophie Brownlie, attorney-at-law, become obsessed with helping the father of a girl who died 20 years before prove that she didn’t kill herself, and 1983 as a tortured and lonely young Maddie moves closer and closer to the day of her premature death. After considering several possible suspects, you begin to believe that the Utah Medical Examiner may have been right all along.
May have been.
This is a great who-done-it kind of mystery. I love those kind of stories but seem to have a knack at guessing who it was long before the story ends. I don’t always mind that I can do that but prefer if I can’t guess because it keeps me deeply interested and my mind churning away at all of the possibilities of who it is. Yes I loved Clue when I was growing up!
This story had me from the beginning and although I had my suspicions as to what happened to Maddie I did not figure it out until it was revealed. So to me that is a great mystery! Ms. Dickson did a great job at going back and forth between 1983 and 2004. There were a couple of transitions that could have been smoother and I had to go back a page and double check that we moved to the other timeline. I am going to assume I had an ARC copy because of a couple of minor discrepancies that would have been fixed by a good proof-reader and editor. Nothing that detracted from the storyline and plot.
I especially enjoyed the connections to Shakespeare. Every chapter begins with one of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. It was enthralling and so fitting within the context of the storyline.
I hate to give anything away especially in a murder-mystery. This book is so much more than that though. It is the story of two women that lived 20 years apart but are brought together by tragedy. Maddie died too young to figure her life out and move forward to be happy. Will the same fate happen to Sophie? It may if she doesn’t solve this case.
Thank you so MediaGuests for another great book for me to review. Please visit their website for more information about all of the great authors they are touring with this year. You will definitely find a great story that you will want to read!
I give this book 4 stars. If you love a murder-mystery that spans over time along with the drama, intrigue, and suspense you will love A Gentle Thief.