Fool Her Once
by Joanna Elm
February 1-28, 2022 Virtual Book Tour
As a rookie tabloid reporter, Jenna Sinclair made a tragic mistake when she outed Denny Dennison, the illegitimate son of an executed serial killer. So she hid behind her marriage and motherhood. Now, decades later, betrayed by her husband and resented by her teenage daughter, Jenna decides to resurrect her career—and returns to the city she loves.
When her former lover is brutally assaulted outside Jenna’s NYC apartment building, Jenna suspects that Denny has inherited his father’s psychopath gene and is out for revenge. She knows she must track him down before he can harm his next target, her daughter.
Meanwhile, her estranged husband, Zack, fears that her investigative reporting skills will unearth his own devastating secret he’d kept buried in the past.
From New York City to the remote North Fork of Long Island and the murky waters surrounding it, Jenna rushes to uncover the terrible truth about a psychopath and realizes her own investigation may save or destroy her family.
There are many issues explored in this novel. One deals with the offspring of serial murderers, whether there is genetic influence. Another is the damage tabloids do in revealing potentially harmful information and the responsibility of the journalists. Another is just how well a person knows their spouse.
The novel could be described as psychological suspense. There is more psychological than suspense. There is a great deal of character thinking, especially on Jenna's part. There is a little actual suspense at the end but most of the tension is from character thoughts and not actions. The narrative includes a number of back flashes, clearly identified by date. Nonetheless, I did find that technique distracting from the momentum of the novel, especially if I quit reading mid-chapter. Picking up again, I was often confused until I went beck to the chapter beginning to identify the time. I did appreciate the jarring twist that comes in a little over a third of the way into the book.
This is a novel of psychological suspense for readers who like that suspense to be built much more on character thinking than actual events.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Genre: Thriller (Domestic)
Published by: CamCat Books
Publication Date: March 1st 2022
Number of Pages: 416
ISBN: 0744304938 (ISBN13: 9780744304930)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | BookShop.org | CamCat Books
Read an excerpt:
Then, she moved to New York where she worked as a writer/producer for television news and tabloid TV programs like A Current Affair. She was also the researcher/writer for WNEW-TV’s Emmy-award winning documentary Irish Eyes. In 1980, she joined the Star as a reporter, eventually becoming the magazine’s news editor and managing editor before moving to Philadelphia as editor of the news/features section of TV Guide.
After completing her first two novels while living in South Florida, (Nelson DeMille described Scandal as “fresh, original and unpredictable”) Joanna returned to New York, enrolled in law school, graduated summa cum laude, passed the NY Bar exam and worked as principal law clerk for an appellate division justice in the prestigious First Department. She has been married to husband Joe for 35 years, and has one son.
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(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)