A Christmas Resolution

Anne Perry. Ballantine, $21 (192p) ISBN 978-0-593-12958-6
Set in December 1872, bestseller Perry’s talky 18th Christmas novel focuses on John Hooper of the Thames River Police and his new wife, Celia, last seen in 2018’s Dark Tide Rising. Celia is distressed to learn that Clementine Appleby plans to wed Seth Marlowe, a prominent member of their church. Though the impoverished Clementine is grateful for the chance to make a respectable marriage, Celia finds Marlowe cruel and controlling. Marlowe, meanwhile, has been receiving anonymous letters that suggest he helped drive his first wife to suicide. Based only on a vague reference Celia once made to his wife’s suicide, Marlowe irrationally concludes that Celia is their source, and he threatens to expose a secret that could damage both Hoopers if she remains friends with Clementine. John attempts to defuse Marlowe’s threats and save Clementine from danger by taking a brief leave from the police to investigate Marlowe’s past. A vicar who hides his love for Clementine adds some charm, and the novel’s musings on faith and forgiveness suit the Christmas season, but the glut of rhetorical questions and lack of dramatic action weaken its appeal. Perry has done better. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maass Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/03/2020
Release date: 11/03/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-64358-721-9
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