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VERTIGO
LAUREN BARATZ-LOGSTED
ISBN# 0-385-34031-1
September 26, 2006
Bantam Dell
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
Paperback
12.00 U.S./$16.00 Canada
368 Pages
Fiction (Suspense)
Rating: 5 Cups

London - 1898

Emma Smith is a model Victorian wife who sets her mind to make a New Year’s resolution, a pledge that will not only change her life, but those around her. Now she wonders how one noble-minded project could change her destiny forever.

John Smith, a novelist, is working on a prison novel. He believes most prisoners at the Hollowgate Prison are innocent. After he hears Emma’s resolution, he suggests that she begin a project corresponding with a prisoner, never considering the circumstances.

Chance Wood is a man serving time for murdering his wife. One can only wonder if he is truly innocent, or just waiting to strike again.

Emma has always been the dutiful wife doing everything that is required in her life, but at times she feels as if something is missing. Often naïve and unhappy, she searches for more in life that could not only benefit her, but others. John agrees and believes by penning letters to a prisoner that could very well be innocent, it will make her a better person. What starts off as her first letter to Chance, only returns in a very crude reply. Emma has no idea how to interpret the man’s cruel words. His wording often shocks her, yet there is an intrigue that draws her into his letters as they begin to share thoughts with each other. Chance has a way of hitting the right buttons, allowing Emma to open up her feelings and express them on paper. Everything seems to go well with pen to paper, but once Chance is released, an uncertain danger arises as desires and fantasies that she has confessed begin to dance in her mind. Emma feels like she lives a double life; a life that could turn deadly. And when blackmail enters the picture, Emma suddenly finds her life filled with a jeopardy she wonders if she can ever escape.

Vertigo is a well-crafted read full of a dark foreboding where the chills practically send spine-tingling sensations down the neck. This work of art is beautifully penned and wonderfully crafted, with such visual scenes I felt as if I was in the middle of Emma’s story. Emma is a strong woman who is exemplary in everything she does, but still she feels like she needs to do more. She makes this story so believable. Oh, I can still feel the chills. Ms. Baratz-Logsted creates a masterpiece that sticks with the reader long after the last page. Her words speak in volume; her secondary characters are compelling and keep the story flowing consistently. It will keep the reader guessing until the last page with its thrilling climax. Exceptional, intriguing, spellbinding, Ms. Baratz-Logsted’s strong dialogue and intense, sharp writing grasped this reader from the first page! I wish I could give this one more than a five cup rating. This is one reader that is eager to read this story again!

Cherokee
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books