Review: The Lost Concerto by Helaine Mario

Posted: February 28, 2015 in Reviews - TV, movie, book and whatever
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A woman and her young son flee to a convent on a remote island off the Breton coast of France. Generations of seafarers have named the place Ile de la Brume, or Fog Island. In a chapel high on a cliff, a tragic death occurs and a terrified child vanishes into the mist.
The child’s godmother, Maggie O’Shea, haunted by the violent deaths of her husband and best friend, has withdrawn from her life as a classical pianist. But then a recording of unforgettable music and a grainy photograph surface, connecting her missing godson to a long-lost first love.
The photograph will draw Maggie inexorably into a collision course with criminal forces, decades-long secrets, stolen art and musical artifacts, and deadly terrorists. Her search will take her to the Festival de Musique, Aix-en-Provence, France, where she discovers answers to the mystery surrounding her husband’s death, an unexpected love—and a musical masterpiece lost for centuries.
A compelling blend of suspense, mystery, political intrigue, and romance, The Lost Concerto explores universal themes of loss, vengeance, courage, and love.

* * * * *

Author Helaine Mario excels at evocative portrayals of settings, with many a lavish description of the French landscape and cityscape. Equally compelling are the descriptions of the music, with classical performances comprising an integral part of the atmosphere and plot. Mario is a mistress of the slow reveal, with each layer of intrigue being uncovered at a carefully measured, tantalizing pace.
For this reviewer, the nit picks are minor. The disability motif is laid on a little thick – there’s a one-eyed cat, a one-armed man, a three-legged dog – and the author is overly fond of knocking people out, with four chapters or sections ending in unconsciousness for the viewpoint character. Still, these need bother only the pedantic. Readers who enjoy mystery and thrillers will not be disappointed, classical music aficionados and Francophiles will be delighted, and there’s a fair bit to keep romance readers happy as well.
The Lost Concerto is due for release by Oceanview Publishing on July 1, 2015. An advance review copy was provided via Netgalley.

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