Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book Review: Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

It's the fall of 1950. When Kit Corrigan moves to New York to pursue her dream of becoming a Broadway actress, she wants to make it on her own. She is also desperate to leave Providence, Rhode Island behind her - and everything that happened that summer. Sleeping on a couch, eating only peanuts and donuts, barely surving, Kit didn't know it would be so hard to get what you want. So when Nate appears in the audience of the terrible musical Kit managed to luck into a part as a chorus girl in, she almost falls off the stage. Her ex-boyfriend Billy's father, Nate is the last person Kit wants to see. An intimidating lawyer with powerful connections to the mob, Nate deals not in money, but in favors. And Kit owes Nate.

After the night everything went wrong, Kit told Billy she never wanted to see him again. Except she's still in love with him. Enlisted in the army, Kit knows Billy is due to be shipped out to Korea any day, but that's not why Nate is there to see her. After everything that happened that summer, Billy is no longer speaking to his father - and Nate doesn't know that Kit broke up with Billy. He's in New York to offer Kit an apartment, rent-free, for Billy and her to make a home and live their New York dream. All Kit has to do in exchange for the key is write Billy and ask him to come and see her before he ships out. Desperate for help, Kit takes the key.

Nate promises to leave Kit alone if she just does him the one favor. But it's not that simple. At first it's just a few phone calls. But then Nate gives Kit a tip about an amazing new job in a nightclub, and there's a suitcase left in the apartment someone will come and pick up. Before she knows it, Kit is in deep, and she's scared. Even when she knows Billy's coming to see her, she's terrified that he will discover just how much Nate owns her - and him.

With the terrible events of the summer night that changed Kit's life revealed in a series of increasingly tantalizing flashbacks, National Book Award-winning author (for What I Saw and How I Lied) Judy Blundell builds a tense tale taut with suspense, murder, love and lies. Steeped in the smoky atmosphere of post-war New York's nightclubs and shadowy Mafia underground, Strings Attached is one web of intrigue and mystery you won't want to put down until you've devoured the last page!

(now reading Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck - I can't resist a novel set in India!)