Book Review: Willow Pond by @cat5149

Willow Pond

By Carol Tibaldi

Genre: Historical Mystery

Book Synopsis

The Roaring Twenties crumble into the Great Depression, but Virginia Kingsley, New York's toughest and most successful speakeasy owner, is doing just fine. Now that the world is falling apart, bootlegging is a flourishing business, and she's queen of that castle.

Then her infant nephew is kidnapped. Her niece, Laura, and Laura's philandering movie star husband, are devastated. The police have few leads, and speculation and rumors abound in the media circus that follows the celebrity abduction.

Only one reporter, Erich Muller, seems to care enough about the child's welfare and the parents' feelings to report the case responsibly. Over the course of the investigation, Erich Muller and Laura fall in love, but their relationship is doomed to failure since he suspects her beloved aunt Virginia is behind the kidnapping. Laura, jaded when it comes to men, sides with Virginia.

But Virginia has figured out the truth, and she can't tell anyone for fear of losing her niece's affections and having the police ransack her life. So she pursues her own investigation, shaking down, threatening, and killing one petty crook after another during her search.

Little Todd's absence shapes everyone's lives. When he is finally found, the discovery will bring disaster for some and revelation for others.

Bec's Rating

Bec's Review

This story starts a bit slow and it is some time before we get into the main story. While the pace does pick up in time, there is still a hint of slowness throughout the book, with events dragging on longer than they should. While the kidnapping of the boy is the main plot of the story there are many side plots that go into this, so at times it feels that we’re no closer to the resolution and the happy ending you just hope is coming. The slowness of the plot also applied to some of the subplots, especially in regards to the romance element.

While the romance in this story follows the classic 3 act story arc, it is in the second act, or the conflict act, that the dragging happens, especially when a revelation is made about *insert female name*. I found myself silently berating this character everytime there was a time jump (of which there are many, adding slight confusion to the story) and you found out that she hadn’t got in contact with *male character name*. That whole section of the story just seemed dragged out, with scenes seeming to be added just to tell us that time had passed and she still hadn’t called or been reunited with her son.

However despite these flaws I cannot deny that I enjoyed Willow Pond. Sure it was slow going at times, but at other times I found I just had to keep reading, especially towards the end of the story when things began to really come together. And if I was silently berating the characters for foolish actions it was only because they were fleshed out and described enough in order to make such foolish action, lacking the two dimensionality that can bring a story down. While this is far from a perfect story it is still very much an enjoyable one, and one worth giving a shot to.

Disclaimer: May not be appropriate for children due to a Mature Theme (Adult Situations), Violence, and Drugs/Alcohol.