The Second Man


Jill Farrell had no intention of going to her college reunion until her best friend talked her into attending. Then she discovers that not only will her ex-husband, Andrew Denton, be there, but so will her old college flame. Swedish exchange student Max Kallstrom disappeared right before graduation, crushing Jill’s heart in the process, and while she’s positive she doesn’t want to see Andrew, she’s not so sure about Max. Telling Andrew to take a hike when he comes knocking is easy, but when Max shows up asking for a chance to explain, events are set into motion that she never, in her wildest dreams, expected.

A keep-you-guessing mystery with a thrown-for-a-loop twist at the end will keep any armchair sleuth happily attempting to solve the riddle before the last page is turned. Toss in a hot mess ex, a best friend in crisis, an old flame turned new again, and Jill’s mother’s heartbreaking diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, and what comes out is a story that runs the gamut of human emotions. Deductions must be made for poor editing and too- convenient plot devices, but what it lacks in these areas is more than made up in the nail-biting anxiety of trying to identify the killer before he makes his move on Jill. Forget “To be or not to be” as the question. Instead, ask who and why? The answers will come as a surprise.

Carol Conley