Brooke Morgan’s debut novel, Tainted, is a thrill ride in a small, shoreline town in Massachusetts — Shoreham — as Holly Barrett meets the man of her dreams on a bus. Jack Dane is dashing, charming, and British — an accent to die for — but there is something below the surface that is not so inviting.
“Tell your heart lies enough times and it will fashion them into the truth.” (Page 34)
Holly’s had a tough youth from getting pregnant at a young age to losing her parents and struggling as a single parent. Jack swoops in and casts a spell that she is unwilling to break, despite the objections of her family and friends and only knowing him for about three weeks. Morgan’s writing is upfront and engaging, though at times chapters shift from the point of view of Holly, her five-year old daughter, her grandfather, and others.
“‘Jesus, Holl. You’re traveling faster than the speed of love.'” (Page 106)
Readers will eat up these pages, trying to uncover Jack’s dark secrets, while at the same time wishing they could shake Holly into her right mind. At times, Holly is very naive about Jack and moves too quickly into a relationship, which can be attributed to her inexperience with men and her self-imposed isolation. However, there are a number of occasions where Holly sees clear red flags in Jack’s behavior and chooses to ignore them, reminiscent of abused women. Morgan’s debut novel is a solid thriller with many twists and turns that will have some readers guessing until the very end.
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Deadline is Jan. 29, 2010, at 11:59PM EST
About the Author:
Brooke Morgan is a Bostonian who now lives in London with her two children. Tainted is her first novel.