Secrets of the Shetlands (Book 1)
April 2016/434 pages/$14.99
The death of the clan patriarch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whale’s Reef into turmoil.
Everyone assumed MacGregor Tulloch’s heir to be his grand-nephew David, a local favorite, but when it is discovered that MacGregor left no will, David’s grasping cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island’s land. And while Hardy doesn’t enjoy much popular support, he has the backing of a shadowy group of North Sea oil investors. The courts have frozen the estate’s assets while the competing claims are investigated, leaving many of the residents in financial limbo. The future of the island—and its traditional way of life—hangs in the balance.
Loni Ford is enjoying her rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, DC. Yet in spite of her outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her paternal grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . .
Past and present collide in master storyteller Phillips’s dramatic new saga of loss and discovery, of grasping and grace, and of the dreams of men and women everywhere.
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I was intrigued by the premise of this book and enjoyed aspects of it but, overall, it was a disappointment. The story dragged with too many insignificant details provided. In what I assume is an attempt to show David's involvement in the lives of the tenants of Whale's Reef, pages are committed to detailing meaningless errands and encounters as he walks from place to place in the village. The slow pace continued throughout much of the book. As the story neared its expected climax with Loni's arrival on the island and other events and happenings, the book came to an abrupt end, seemingly in the middle of a paragraph or scene. It didn't build up to a cliff-hanger that made me want to read the next book; it almost seemed as if the novel had been stopped at a certain word count and anything beyond that point was eliminated. However, I encourage you to check out other reviews, as they vary widely.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House Publishers & Litfuse Publicity Group for a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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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