The Fortune Teller's Daughter

Lila Shaara, Author . Ballantine $25 (436p) ISBN 978-0-345-48567-0

Shaara's follow-up to Every Secret Thing tries to be many things—mystery, romance, Southern Gothic, scientific exploration—but remains a disjointed amalgam that fails to live up to its promise. Harry Sterling, a writer desperately in search of a book topic, is finishing his first year of university teaching and drinking away the failures of his past when a student's offhand comment—that local psychic Josie Dupree had hinted that the physicist Charles Ziegart was not responsible for the groundbreaking discovery that bears his name—reawakens Harry's investigative spirit. Harry's near-disastrous initial visit to Madame Dupree includes a chance meeting with her niece, Maggie Roth. Harry is strangely drawn to the young woman, despite her repeated rebuffs, and his pursuit of Maggie becomes tied up with his Ziegart investigation. But what could have been a provocative narrative devolves into a melodramatic, largely unnecessary revenge plot. Even the mystery that drives the novel will be transparent to most readers, who may wonder why Harry, a former investigative reporter, seems, for the most part, blind to everything. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/06/2008
Release date: 12/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 978-0-345-50940-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-0108-4
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