21 March 2012

Review: Echoes of Titanic by Mindy Starns Clark

Echoes of Titanicopens at the 1913 Titanic memorial service, with an unnamed woman thinking of her loss, of the nightmare and of her guilt.  The story then moves to 2012 and to Kelsey Tate, who works for Brennan & Tate, the investment firm established by her great grandmother, Adele Brennan. Kelsey’s PR speech is interrupted by a heckler announcing that Adele perished on the Titanic, and Jocelyn assumed Adele’s identity. While Kelsey discredits the story, it is within the realms of possibility, as the cousins were the same age, and Adele had not seen her father since she was three.  Then Kelsey’s career mentor, Gloria Poole, is found hanged in the company offices hours after the big announcement, an apparent suicide – or is it murder?

Kelsey must resolve the attack on Adele's name and cope with the death of her mentor.  As Kelsey investigates, she begins to questions her own lifestyle and faith. She realises that it was one of many things that changed five years ago when her relationship with Cole fell apart, when Gloria didn’t get an important promotion, and when Kelsey made her first big deal. Kelsey finds things are not as they first appeared and begins to question the actions and motivations of others, as well as her own.

The story flips back and forward between 1912 and 2012, from Adele and Jocelyn to Kelsey as she attempts to solve a century-old mystery within a tight deadline, accompanied by a hint of romance and a hint of suspense and an underlying theme of God's grace and love.

I have read several books by Mindy Starns Clark, but Echoes of Titanicis the first that she has co-authored with her husband, John Campbell Clark, a lifelong Titanic buff, whose background in accounting comes through almost too strongly in some of the investment passages.  Another problem was that there was too much backtracking and repetition of the family history (at least one passage could have been deleted). I suspect that someone thought that an established author like Mindy Starns Clark would not need much editing. That might normally be true, but if so then John Campbell Clark is a first time author who certainly does need some editorial guidance. 

One thing I have noticed about Mindy Starns Clark's heroines is that they have an annoying habit of resorting to physical exercise in times of stress, and Kelsey is no exception. However, this might say more about me than it does about Clark's books...

Thanks to Harvest House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

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