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~Henry Miller

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Tobacco Sun

Tobacco Sun - Lorna Hollifield

A psychological thriller set in 1947, mysterious and puzzling, with a big potential that unfortunately lost me toward the end.

A promising debut novel, but not without complaints.

The Plot:

Giving in to the pleas of her half-sister, Sydra Parramore, a rising Hollywood star, who left her hometown long ago and has never returned since then, comes back to Tobaccoville, to attend the funeral of her mother. Jimmi-Lyn is the complete opposite to her famous half-sister, not only she has nothing similar to her celebrity sister’s character, but she is also not a beauty her sister always has been. People say she was born cursed, with a birthmark across the right side of her face.

After the funeral, something awful happens: within 36 hours of Sydra’s arrival in town, the famous actress has been charged with murder.

A reader knows nothing at the beginning, but it is clear that the answers lie in the past. How did the childhood of the both sisters look like? How the past did influence a life course of each of them?
What DID happen after the funeral? What is the role of Vanse, a war veteran and their childhood friend?

Numerous POVs in the story give the readers a different perspective of the events in the past as well as in the present: Jimmi-Lyn, Sydra, Vanse and Dr.Garris, a psychologist, whose task is to give an expert opinion to the mental condition of his patient and possibly help her to avoid a life in prison and maybe even the death penalty.

Final thoughts:

A thrilling story, stirringly told, well-structured and in a way pretty captivating. Up to approx. 70%.

As the case began to get more distinct outlines and clear contours the whole magic of the story started to crumble for me. At the end I felt the way more like “deceived” and “tricked”. The magic of the characters faded away, their backgrounds and actions felt implausible and the resolution sunk in clichés. A first class psychological thriller turned into a lousy movie with a poor casting. What a pity.

5 stars for the first part of the book. 1 star for the final third.

***Copy provided kindly by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***