“When two young pianists live under the same roof, are carefully groomed for stardom by their ‘uncle’ and share a hard competitive edge jealousy is bound to rear its ugly head. When the more accomplished of the two, Nicholas, appears to have the winning hand then the other, Timothy, takes every pleasure in bring him down a notch.
When this comeuppance involves the death of Nicolas’ lover and his own near murder he has to fake memory loss to get enough time to gather the information he needs to get even with his rival. With the discovery of his father’s secret diary he is able to put together the missing pieces he needs to bring the whole ‘family’ to their knees. With the help of a new found love he forges a bond to get back to a real life again.
If I had not read Ledford’s second novel, Snare, out of sequence and known that the protagonist was to be detective Steven Hawk I would have thought that Nicholas was the hero of the novel and Hawk takes too long of a time before making his appearance in Staccato. Both books can be read as stand-alone novels and the second is much more satisfactory than the first showing the growth that this writer has made in her style between books. I know there is a third in the series due out and I am chomping at the bit to read it too.
Staccato is a fine novel, a thriller that is poignant, suspenseful and written to a broken beat that sets the stage for each successive story line to advance with allegro.
“Well, this is my debut suspense thriller, so I'm going to give it 5 stars and hope you will enjoy the read.”Deborah J Ledford wrote this review Friday, June 11, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This novel reads to its own inner score of classics expertly played on the piano. Staccato by Deborah J Ledford is set in the beautiful scenery of the Smoky Mountains and revolves around the mansion and summer home of super-rich musician Alexander Kalman. Kalman was born in Hungary. Afflicted with a club foot, but blessed with music, and empowered by an enormous drive to succeed, he now supervises the musical careers of two young men, Nicholas who his sister adopted many years ago, and Timothy who has lived with him from childhood. But—listen to those powerful chords—Nicholas has found a notebook from his natural father, and things are not as they seem.
Eight months from now, Nicholas will come into his inheritance and be free. Eight months from now, he will publicize his romance with Alexander’s niece. Eight short months… But time is cut shorter than that and tragic events unfold as the music plays.
The author switches the narrative pace beautifully, like a well-played piece; tense arguments, slow ponderings, urgent climbs and pregnant pause. Then the first act ends. New characters appear; Steven Hawk and Inola Walela, working for the police in search of a missing person. The music plays differently—Smoky Mountain tracks replacing the grand opera, and the two strains twist and combine with an evil beat lurking underneath.
The difference between skill and hard work is beautifully played, between care and ambition, between help and control, and the whole is a fascinating book that brings music and the Smoky Mountain scenery to life. It will be interesting to see where Hawk and Walela take us when the author’s next novel comes out.