A Slow Ruin by Pamela Crane
April 1910. Women’s rights activist Alvera Fields mysteriously vanishes from her home one night, leaving her newborn baby and husband behind, and the case is never solved.
April 2021. On the anniversary of her great-great-grandmother’s disappearance, Alvera’s namesake, Vera Portman, vanishes in an eerily similar manner. Six months later, the police recover a girl’s body. While the family waits, afraid to find out it’s Vera, Felicity Portman clings to hope that her missing teenage daughter is still alive. Despite all odds, Felicity senses a link between the decades-apart cases — a mother feels such things in her bones. But all suspicion points to the last person who saw Vera alive: Felicity’s sister-in-law, Marin.
Marin, with her troubled past. Marin, the poor woman who married into the rich family. Marin, the only one who knows Felicity’s darkest secret. As Felicity makes a shocking discovery in Vera’s journal, she questions who her daughter really is. The deeper she digs, the more she’s ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed their ancestor in a terribly slow ruin.
Quite the domestic thriller that spans almost 100 years, from great-great-grandmother to great-great-granddaughter. What in the world could tie the two over the span of a century?
My first experience with the author; didn’t have any idea what to expect. However, this turned out to be twisty and emotional with several red herrings. First, women’s rights activist Alvera Fields mysteriously vanishes from her home one night—there is NO way she’d have left her husband, let alone her newborn baby.
Then her namesake, Vera Portman vanishes similarly. Her mother rabidly hopes that the body they find six months later is not Vera. The family is very wealthy, but it doesn’t appear to have been a matter of money.
When a journal is found written by Alvera, Felicity devours its contents hoping for some hint as to what might have happened to her daughter. SOOO much going on, family secrets, lies, deception, and the one that might include Marin—Felicity’s sister-in-law. The journal reveals much more than anyone could have expected.
I was glad to have the audiobook to help with the many characters, the inflections in dialogue, the hidden nuances. A family dynamic run amok with the circumstances, the suspicious character the reader doesn’t much like. Is the mother over the top? This IS her daughter after all…isn’t it?
I struggled with it, at times too much detail, minutia, slowing the pace, multiple threads. And the surprise in the conclusion, although at this point, was it really? It is a slow burn mystery, a tad too slow to keep my engagement at an edge of chair level.
I received a complimentary review copy of this audiobook from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts, but I’m sure there will be other readers who will be thoroughly entertained.
Genre: Domestic Thrillers, Psychological Fiction
Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC
Listening Length: 11 hrs 35 mins
Narrator(s): Angie Kane, Caitlin Cavannaugh, Lesa Lockford, Carolina Hoyos
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: A Slow Ruin [Amazon]
Rosepoint Publishing: Three-point Five Stars
The Author: PAMELA CRANE is a USA TODAY bestselling author and professional juggler of four kids, a writing addiction, and a horse rescuer. She lives on the edge and writes on the edge…where her sanity resides. Her thrillers unravel flawed women who are villainous, which makes them interesting…and perfect for doing crazy things worth writing about. When she’s not cleaning horse stalls or cleaning up after her kids, she’s plotting her next murder. Join her newsletter to get a free book and updates about her new releases at http://www.pamelacrane.com.
©2022 V Williams