While I finished this book a month ago, I am now sitting to write a review for Desert Soliloquy by Libby Grandy. I wanted to write this sooner, but it seems that so much got in the way. Anyway, Desert Soliloquy follows Caroline Laughery and her ex-husband Charles Laughery. The story starts with Charles in the dark and moves to a scene with Caroline waiting in the ghost town of Odessa, CA for her ex-husband to show up.
Caroline knows something is wrong when Charles does not show up on time to meet her. Though the two have been divorced for some time, she knows he ex-husband well, and being late to meet her isn’t like him. We are then introduced to Kate as she stops along the highway to investigate a wrecked car, and she passes out because she thinks she sees the ghost of her dead husband. Mike picks up the totaled car in the morning after she follows him back to town. Then we are introduced to Josh, the PI who is in town, looking for Charles. Over the course of the story, Kate, Mike, Josh, and Caroline have to unravel the mystery of how and why Charles Laughery disappeared.
Grandy is a good story-teller. I was hooked into the book as soon as I picked it up. There is a lot of tension and mystery that kept me turning the pages wanting to know what happened next. Would they find Charles? How would the budding relationship between Mike and Kate turn out? Would Caroline reciprocate Josh’s feelings, and how would that change if they found Charles? The characters are fleshed out and real. The prose is simple and easy to follow and there are very few mechanical errors in the piece.
I found the intertwining love stories along with the mystery an intriguing combination. There are Kate and Mike are the younger love story, where Caroline, Josh and Charles represent the later-in-life romantics. Grandy brings into the story real emotions and real difficulties people have: self-forgiveness, letting go and self-discovery. The mystery portion is the vehicle for the story and work well in thrusting these individuals together. Without it, I think the story would fall apart. I think some of the transitions between chapters could have been a little cleaner, but nothing that stopped me from reading.
Desert Soliloquy is a great read. I enjoyed the characters and the story, the unravelling of the mystery and the cheering for the characters to get together. The ending was great, and I would have been disappointed had it ended early than it did. Because I wanted two characters to be together at the end, I read all the way through (and I’m glad I didn’t get frustrated with what happened!). I think there are the right hints, but I wanted to shout “Come on!” to the book. Recommended!