Monday, October 6, 2014

Book Review: Empty Shell by Ashley Fontainne

Empty Shell
By Ashley Fontainne
Publisher: RMSW Press
Published: September 29, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

The quiet world of Melody and Jack Dickinson is about to be turned upside down. Twenty years of marriage hangs in the balance when Melody finds out about Jack’s infidelity. The betrayal is made worse when Melody discovers his lover is Serena Rowland, a young woman who works at Melody’s law firm. 

A receipt from an overpriced hotel… 

Harsh words are exchanged before Melody storms off to work, determined to have Serena fired. But when Melody hears Serena was murdered over the weekend, everything changes. Serena’s body is found beaten and strangled with a pair of pink, silk panties, in 
the same hotel that Jack had admitted staying at over the weekend. Within seconds of hearing the news, Melody’s life spins out of control when Jack calls in a panic. The police are at their home to arrest him for Serena’s murder. 

Pictures of a young woman’s scantily clad torso on a cell phone… 

Was she married to a monster? One who beat and strangled the young woman to death, or was Jack set up? Did Melody’s own dark secret, hidden inside her heart for years, have something to do with the nightmare they suddenly find themselves in? 

Melody and Jack are about to discover that one fateful mistake will destroy many. 

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My Thoughts:

After twenty years of marriage and finding out they can’t have children, Melody Dickinson is hit with another blow. Her husband has been having an affair with a much younger girl from her workplace. Heated words ensue and Melody rushes off to her workplace determined to have the woman, Serena dismissed, only to discover she has been murdered, and her husband arrested as a suspect.

Empty Shell is a fast paced suspense novel where Melody’s life quickly goes out of control as the investigation points to her husband as the murderer. But she has a hard time reconciling the fact that she was married to someone who was so violent that he could brutally beat a woman like that and then strangle her to death. Melody longs to lay the blame on someone and eventually wonders if the blame should be laid at her own feet for a dark secret she has held from Jack for so many years. Could her secret have led to these dark days twenty years later?

There are quite a number of twists and turns in this novel and you will be surprised who the culprit in the case actually is and the motive for more than one murder. I found the pace of the book quite good except for a portion where there was too much talking and not enough action.

While the crime revolves around an affair, there are no sexually explicit scenes in the book. However, you should note that in this Christian fiction book there is some swearing.

I thought the characters were well-developed and realistic. The losses of the characters of their loved ones made me think about how I would feel if I were to go through the same losses with my loved ones.

I found the solution to the crime quite surprising because I was right, then changed my mind. I did have the motive totally wrong. I very much enjoyed Empty Shell. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy Christian suspense. I gave this book 4 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the author who provided a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Award-winning and International bestselling author Ashley Fontainne is an avid reader of mostly the classics. Ashley became a fan of the written word in her youth, starting with the Nancy Drew mystery series. Stories that immerse the reader deep into the human psyche and the monsters that lurk within us are her favorite reads.

Her muse for penning the EVISCERATING THE SNAKE series was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Ashley's love for this book is what sparked her desire to write her debut novel, Accountable to None, the first book in the trilogy. With a modern setting to the tale, Ashley delves into just what lengths a person is willing to go when they seek personal justice for heinous acts perpetrated upon them. The second novel in the series, Zero Balance focuses on the cost and reciprocal cycle that obtaining revenge has on the seeker. For once the cycle starts, where does it end? How far will the tendrils of revenge expand? Adjusting Journal Entries answered that question: far and wide.

Her short thriller entitled Number Seventy-Five, touches upon the sometimes dangerous world of online dating. Number Seventy-Five took home the BRONZE medal in fiction/suspense at the 2013 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards contest and is currently in production for a feature film.

Her latest release, the suspenseful thriller The Lie, took home the GOLD medal in the 2013 ILLUMINATION BOOK AWARDS for ebook/fiction.

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1 comment :

  1. Thank you for such a fantastic review. Thrilled you enjoyed the story!