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Archive for July 25th, 2013

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00070]“I met Ethan on the day that I killed Karoline.”

Thus begins this psychological mystery. One has to admit, it is a great hooky first line for a book!

What if, in a moment of thoughtless anger, you were to wish your best friend’s demise, then, soon after, that friend ended up dead?

This is the story of our smart, beautiful, psychologically fragile protagonist Anna Williams who, tortured by feelings of shame and guilt after Karoline’s death, suffers an emotional breakdown.

Yet…did Anne really kill Karoline? I couldn’t help but wonder as I turned the pages, asking myself, “Is she a psychopath?” I kept having the unsettling sensation that what I was reading wasn’t what it appeared to be. In this sense, this is a deliciously engaging novel.

Through Anna’s twisted perspective, and with the help of brief and somewhat odd journal entries, author Catherine Astolfo explores the complex relationship between the two friends. The reader will get a glimpse of Anne’s inner journey as she uncovers painful childhood events and discovers a family history filled with unexpected crimes and betrayals.

Sweet Karoline is an exploration into the dark corners of a young woman’s psyche as she falls into a vortex of greed, lies, and deceit.

I enjoyed reading this novel. It was different from many other books I’ve read recently. Written in a stream-of-consciousness manner that well suits the complicated mind of the protagonist, this multi-layered, well-paced story could be considered literary mystery. Astolfo pays a lot of attention to language and her prose, drily witty at times, is eloquent and fluid. What leads people to harm others? What prompts a good person to commit evil acts? These are just some of the questions explored in this dark tale of suspense.

If you enjoy a good psychological mystery, you should try this one out. Recommended.

Purchase on Amazon. Visit the author’s website. Read my interview with the author on Blogcritics.

This review first appeared on Blogcritics and was given in exchange for a review copy provided by the publisher, Imajin Books.

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Lisa Regan 2Lisa Regan is a suspense novelist.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.  She is a member of Sisters In Crime. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

Her latest book is the crime thriller, Aberration.

Visit her website at www.LisaRegan.com.

About the Book:

aberration.inddFBI analyst Kassidy Bishop is assigned to the “For You” killer’s task force after a series of sadistic murders bearing the same signature arise in different parts of the country.

The homicides are both calculated and savage, occurring in different states, but bearing the same signature: the words “for you” scribbled at each crime scene. The case chills Kassidy, bringing back memories of her own encounter with a violent criminal five years earlier.

Kassidy’s mentor, legendary agent Talia “The Confessor” Crossen knows the task force assignment is Kassidy’s chance to prove to her colleagues that she belongs in the Behavior Analysis Unit. For five years, other FBI agents and profilers scoffed at Kassidy’s appointment to the BAU, believing she was only offered the position in exchange for her silence about the brutal assault that almost killed her.

The stakes rise when the task force links the killer’s signature to Kassidy. As more and more bodies turn up, Kassidy must delve into her past and the mysterious death of her twin sister, which holds the key to uncovering the killer’s identity.

The closer Kassidy comes to finding the killer, the closer she comes to a deadly confrontation that could cost her everything—including her own life.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON.

Interview:

Would you call yourself a born writer?

Yes.  I’ve been writing since I was old enough to put words on the page.

What was your inspiration for Aberration?

In college I lived in an apartment where things kept disappearing all the time.  Books, my lucky hair scrunchy, stuff like that.  Since I’m a crime writer, my first thought was STALKER!  That’s how the idea started out—this idea of a stalker.  Of course a benign stalker doesn’t make for very good entertainment so I had to add some conflict, which eventually came into the story as a serial killer.  I don’t want to give away too much because it will spoil the surprises in the book, but let’s just say that in this book there is a stalker who starts out with good intentions but ends up as a serial killer.  I shaped the story around that.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I’m completely obsessed with how people survive horrible things.  How do they get past it and move on?  Crimes people commit against other people are one of the worst things in the world, so I’m always exploring the lives of characters who have either survived something like that or are dealing with it.  In Aberration both my protagonist and my antagonist have been through some horrible things and you get to see how it’s informed the decisions they make in life.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

Two years to complete the first draft.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I’m a full-time paralegal and a mom so I don’t have a typical writing day.  I write in a notebook at I keep tin my purse when I’m standing in line at the post office or waiting in the doctor’s office.  I try to commit myself to 10 minutes of writing work a night once my daughter and husband are asleep.  It doesn’t always work.  I just have to fit it in when I can.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

When to reveal certain things-I didn’t want to give away too much too soon.  It was hard getting the pacing just right and revealing things at just the right time without making the book totally confusing.

What do you love most about being an author?

The writing, always the writing.  It’s like being in the novelty period of a relationship.  Invigorating.  Now that I’m published, the best part is connecting with readers who actually like my work.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I went with a small independent press and it’s been awesome!  They gave me a lot of control throughout the process and it’s a lot more intimate which is nice.

Where can we find you on the web?

Blog

Website

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Twitter

 

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