Saturday, October 31, 2020

Review: "The Sound of Falling Leaves" by Lisa Carter

Danger and intrigue follow a traumatized woman who retreats to her aunt's orchard in rural North Carolina.

After aspiring opera singer Tessa loses her voice in a fire, she needs both a place to heal and a way to keep music in her life. She retreats to her aunt's apple orchard in rural North Carolina to collect folk ballads. But amid the autumn splendor of this isolated Appalachian community, she uncovers an unnerving connection between a murder case and a long-ago disappearance. Tessa gets a glimpse into an almost-forgotten world, encounters a corrupt, small-town political dynasty, and finds superstition and prejudice at every turn.

She's also drawn to Zeke, the handsome but enigmatic orchard caretaker, who shows her that mountain justice is neither impartial nor just. But battling a conspiracy of silence, Tessa isn't sure if she can trust him. Yet somewhere in the mists of the Blue Ridge Mountains, evil lurks, and a killer is determined to keep the past where it belongs--dead and buried.

The Sound of Falling Leaves is a dark, suspenseful novel with touches of light. Tessa is an opera singer who lost the will to sing after nearly dying in a fire. When she goes to stay at her aunt's orchard, she discovers an album by a local folk artist who made one record and disappeared. I really enjoyed Tessa's search for what happened to Leota Byrd and her budding relationship with mountain woman Ouida, who had been a friend and mentor to Leota. 

The rest of the book, however, wasn't for me. An evil family, the Cozarts, runs the town - and any time they're involved in the story, things are sure to get violent and/or gruesome, and it was too much for my taste. (I don't enjoy anything even remotely graphic, and this novel crossed the line for me.) I also didn't care for the relationship between Tessa and Zeke, as it felt way too toxic to me. It's true that Zeke was not a believer for most of the novel, so maybe he changed, but his conversion came so close to the end that readers weren't able to actually see that change. I did enjoy the eventual reveal of Zeke's past, but I didn't much care for him as a character.

While this book isn't one I loved, I can appreciate that the thriller aspect of the novel was done well, and those who don't mind when violence gets a little graphic might really enjoy the book. 2-1/2 stars.

Buy the book. (Amazon ad)
Read my reviews of Carter's
Carolina Reckoning (4 stars) and Aloha Rose (2-1/2 stars).

Lisa Carter
is the bestselling author of seven romantic suspense novels, four historical novellas and a contemporary Coast Guard series.
The Stronghold won the 2017 Daphne du Maurier. Under a Turquoise Sky won the 2015 Carol Award for Romantic Suspense. Beyond the Cherokee Trail was a 4 1/2 star Romantic Times Top Pick.

As a Southern romantic suspense writer--Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder--Lisa Carter has definite opinions on serious issues like barbeque, ACC basketball and the whole Pepsi vs. Coke controversy.

She and her husband have two daughters and make their home in North Carolina. When she isn't writing, Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales. She also enjoys quilting and researching her next exotic adventure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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