Friday, April 13, 2012

Review of The Sound of Red Returning

Written by Sue Duffy

Back Cover:
It's been fifteen years since famed pianist Liesl Bower saw her beloved Hrvard mentor gunned down, since the CIA disclosed his double life as a Russian spy. She was interrogated and released, with no incriminating evidence against her. But now, something has happened to set Russian and CIA agents on her heels. New intelligence suggests that Liesl possesses a coded message critical to a resurgence of Soviet power.

As global tensions mount, the Russians are in a frenzy to find the codee before the Americans. Standing in their way, though, is the young pianist fromt he tidal creeks and sescret-shrouded lanes of Charleston, South Carolina. As Liesl outruns the tip of the Russian spear, she must reckon with the wounds of her past, the love of a man she never thought could be hers, and the prevailing power of God.

In the final hour, on a world stage, Liesl must deliver a message of her own.

My Take:

Combine the romantic intrigue of Russian and American spies, the beauty of piano music, a lovely and withdrawn young woman, and men of varying importance, and you have a captivating book you can't put down!

Ava Mullens, FBI agent and Liesl's protector, Max Morozov, fellow musican, a close friend, and a Israelee who endured his own father-son problems for years, Ben Hafner, assistant to the United States president for domestic policy, all play an important part of the story structure.

Though Liesl is from South Carolina, Duffy gives us a glimpse into other portions of the world. Islands near Italy, Washington D.C. and Moscow enter into the story picture in small mentions, but important tidbits that flavor the settings of the novel. Spies are galore! Nowhere the protagonists run can they escape from them. The plot is an intriguing mix of suspense and romance with the latter progressing in an undercurrent type of development.

Liesl, a professional pianist who performs for both homeland and international dignitaries, is haunted by past memories. A faulty father who abandons her, a mother who dies before her time, a favorite aunt killed unexpectedly, and a grandmother who loses her memory all help to leave Liesl lonely and emotionally damaged. When she's unwittingly caught in a spy net, she must run for her life. She is the key to multi-countries searches, and her music plays a part--but what?

Enter Cade and his grandfather, Ian. Cade, an unemployed journalist, rents the basement apartment of Liesl's grandmother's deserted home. After his grandfather arrives for a visit, they're drawn into the plot when FBI agents show up to search the house for the missing music. It doesn't take long for Cade and Liesl to fall into a reluctant relationship. But the more they're thrown together, the closer they grow.

As the ante is upped, it all dovetails into a riveting tale with a couple of surprises--that's always a pleasure--with a satisfying ending. It's a novel well worth investing your money and time to read. I recommend it highly.


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