This was a fun read, a page-turner with a lot of subplots to unpick and a sweet-natured heroine who seemed to talk non-stop. Hope is engaging and likeable, a stay-at-home mom with her baby boy, who befriends Nathan, a Holocaust survivor, when she moves into the exclusive Gold Coast Estates. Soon she is loved by all who get to know her.
After one of the more popular residents is found dead, Hope smells a rat and starts to play detective, uncovering a gambling empire and one character's desperate, unethical, quest to find a cure for Huntingdon's disease.
There are a lot of subplots, each one weighty in its own right and worthy of its own book. The Huntingdon disease issue is dealt with sensitively and knowledgeably. There is also an American football star perhaps involved in throwing games for a gambling ring, as well as a stalking subplot and Nathan's tragic past, AND Hope's own husband is inexplicably enamoured with the suave Joey, who seems to be a prize ass. All these subplots are interwoven into a tense thriller with not one but two climaxes.
I wasn't expecting the football plot to take centre-stage, and I learned more than I really needed to about the game. There was a tendency to info-dump on the reader about the big issues, usually via dialogue, which at times seemed as if the speaker were reciting from Google, resulting in the dialogue feeling a little stilted in places. This and the over-use of exclamation marks threw me off from really immersing myself in the story.
Yes, it was a little far-fetched at times. (I doubt whether Hope would have got near any location where a murder of a well-known person had taken place) and also felt a little rushed near the end, but there's no doubt Hope is like a young Jessica Fletcher, baby on hip as she determinedly seeks out the truth. With a bit of tightening up of the plot and editing, I can easily see Hope being the star of her own detective series. It's right there to be exploited, from the atmospheric and history-riddled Maltz Mansion to the wealthy inhabitants of Gold Coast Estates, all who deserve to have their own stories. It will be interesting to see what else this author comes up with.
When the promise of the perfect move leads to peril…
Moving out of New York City into Long Island’s suburban community Gold Coast Estates is everything new mom Hope Klein ever imagined. A dream come true.
The exclusive Gold Coast Estates community is situated on a subdivision of a former 1920s grand estate on Long Island. The magnificent Maltz Mansion still sits on top of the hill looming above the mini-mansion homes of the modern day rich as a beacon of the grandeur of Long Island’s past wealth.
Hope enjoys getting to know her neighbors—a professional football player, a holocaust survivor, a Huntington’s disease victim and a groundbreaking researcher. Each becomes special to her. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Hope, there’s a pair of eyes set on her, watching her every move.
When a dead body is discovered in the affluent neighborhood, Hope’s perfect world is turned upside down. Was it a suicide, an accident or murder? Hope is determined to find out. Never underestimate the tenacity of the stay-at-home mom.
If she’s not careful she might find herself the next victim...