Concerto

1 star1 star1 star0.75 star
"I see you."

Three simple words from her telephone in the dead of night send violinist Chrispen Marnett's life spiraling in directions she never imagined. The chance to work with the greatest violinist alive drew her to Newton, but nothing could have prepared her for what she found there. More

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Published by Onda Mountain Books
Published: Oct. 06, 2010
Words: 76,250
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452324982
About Sandra Miller

Sandra Miller is an author. She's that girl you knew in school who always had a notebook in one hand and a pen in the other, and spent every spare second experimenting with ways to put them together.

Her fiction works have previously appeared in Alienskin Magazine, Long Story Short, and Bewildering Stories.

Her poetry has appeared at Storyhouse, and one of her poems won the Grand Prize in the FictionAddiction 2002 poetry contest.

Her non-fiction articles have appeared in Writer's Journal, Music for the Love of It, Antiques & Collecting Magazine, Writing World, Vision for Writers, and Writer's Forum, a Writer's Digest publication.

She can be found on the web at www.sandra-miller.com

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Reviews

Review by: Elizabeth Miller on Feb. 06, 2012 : star star star star
Nice romantic thriller. Violinist Chrispen Marnet has been a fan of Alexis Brooks as long as she can remember. The reason she joined this particular orchestra was because she would be playing along with the world famous virtuoso. As she becomes closer to Alexis she realises that there is a large cloud of suspicion hanging over him for his wife's murder. Chrispen knows Alexis had nothing to do with it and sets out to prove it not realizing the real killer is stalking her.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Aparna Sethuraman on Sep. 25, 2011 : star star star
The main protagonist in this story is Chrispen who is a violonist in a symphony. Chrispen has moved to a new city to join the symphony in order to get a chance to work with Alexis who is a world-famous musician. Alexis is also a suspect in his wife's murder. Chrispen does not believe that Alexis is a murderer and is willing to do anything to prove this. She has just started getting close to Alexis when things take a wrong turn. She starts being stalked by someone who keeps leaving her messages.

Sandra Miller has written an interesting story. However, there are parts which are hard to believe. For example : Chrispen keeps destroying all the evidence of a stalker and still expects the cops to believe her.

All in all it is a good read.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Lenora Gogerty on Sep. 05, 2011 : star star star
Interesting story, I liked it. The best parts were the descriptions of the orchestra, theater, musicians and instruments.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: flomincucci on Aug. 08, 2011 : star star star star
Short and catchy novel. I'm a musician myself, and loved the way the music makes it through the mystery. Sandra portraits very well the feeling of being stalked: the horror, the insecurity, not being able of feeling safe in your own home.
The romance part feels a little too cliché and obvious, but makes sense in the plot.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Lori on July 29, 2011 : star star star
Chrispen 'Chris' Marnett is a violinist that has recently moved to Ohio to join the Newton Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra so that she can work alongside the greatest violinist alive, Alexis Brooks, the symphony's concertmaster. What she gets - in the form of creepy phone calls, harassing written messages, unwanted flowers and frightening nightmares - is enough for Crispen to lose considerable sleep and to start looking over her shoulder constantly. When everyone, including the police, seems to be warning Crispen to stay away from Alexis, she decides that she needs to get to the bottom of not only the business of her current terror, but a murder that occurred 5 years previously.

Told from the point of view of Chrispen, I enjoyed the suspenseful build of fear that was generated as the menacing stalking continues to pierce and invade Chrispen's world with apparently no boundaries or protection. I found the use of the nightmare sequences to be a great way to introduce a further element of suspense - and mystery - to the story. For me, I enjoyed the plot, the character development and the suspense created in the first half of the book. I also enjoyed the glimpse into the music world that Miller provides. The second half of the book didn't continue to capture my attention like the first half did, in part because I started to find Chrispen's character annoying and not someone I was a willing to cheer on the sidelines for, but that is just my personal pet peeve. Other readers may have no problem with Chrispen's motivations and decisions. I also found the plot got rather thin in the last third of the book.

With a sprinkling of romance and relationships to lighten this from being a truly dark suspense thriller - this was what I would consider to be a light suspense thriller - I feel that it would make for an easy summer read.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Michele Minor on July 29, 2011 : star star star star
Lia and Veronica are two best friends who are trying to keep their favorite hangout from closing down by organizing a benefit concert. Veronica is a senior in high school who is not sure about what she wants to do with the rest of her life while trying to play in her best friend’s band and dealing with high school. The book is set in the summer/fall of 1994 before the Internet and cell phones became widespread. Lia’s brother Jake is also home from college as well where he was the child prodigy. Veronica feels better when Jake does not know what to do with his life as well. The book takes an interesting book at high school in the early nineties where there are some things that do not change such as rivalries.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Lisa Kistler on July 24, 2011 : star star star
This book has a lot of twists and turns. Just when you think you have figured it out it just turns again. I really enjoyed it and was glad there was a love story thrown in. I really enjoyed this book!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: TayteH on July 20, 2011 : star star star star
It's different from most books I've read. Well put together.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: S T on July 18, 2011 : star star star star star
Concerto is a fast paced murder mystery that captured the reader on page one. Once I started it was hard to put it down - a fun and easy read. Each of the characters seemed to come alive. It was a thriller blended with some romance and lots of information on the workings of an orchestra. I really enjoyed this book!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: S T on July 18, 2011 : star star star star star
Concerto is a fast paced murder mystery that captured the reader on page one. Once I started it was hard to put it down - a fun and easy read. Each of the characters seemed to come alive. It was a thriller blended with some romance and lots of information on the workings of an orchestra. I really enjoyed this book!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ted Witham on July 18, 2011 : star star star
*Concerto* is a thriller romance in three movements. The narrator, a violinist in the Newton Symphony Orchestra in Ohio is the victim of stalking and harassment ,and she must continue to do her job there working out who really is violent. The suspects narrow to members of the orchestra but it is certainly not the talented Alexis to whom she gives her heart quite early in the story.

I enjoyed reading *Concerto*. Its setting - a working orchestra - was intriguing and the villainous action just believable enough to hold me. I wondered whether the book would have worked better in the third person. The first person telling tends to diminish the emotions like fear as the mind too quickly provides reasons to mitigate the rawness of the emotion.

Overall, *Concerto* is a pleasant summer read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Diane Johnston on July 18, 2011 : star star star
This was a short book, 169 ebook pages and is a romance/murder mystery. Chrispen is a talented violinist working for a small midwest US orchestra where a reknowned violinist, Alexis Brooks, is also playing. Alexis was internationally famous but joined this orchestra because he was from the area and he and his new wife wanted to settle down where they grew up. However, 5 years ago, his wife was murdered and he was accused of it. He was found not guilty because the evidence was largely circumstantial but most people, including the police and his father, think he was guilty. Suspicion hovers around him.

Chrispen has only been part of the orchestra for 6 months and has made some friends but seems to have aquired a stalker. First it's just phone calls and notes, then it's photos that clearly show someone has been watching her and even been inside her house. As the book goes on, the incidents escalate and become more threatening. Many people suspect Alexis but could it be Dwight, another musician in the orchestra who fancies Chrispen but is always spurned? Or could it be a jealous woman who used to fancy Alexis and now Dwight but is also rejected by both of them? Chrispen doesn't think Alexis is guilty and grows closer to him which angers the other two. She's been warned by the police who can't seem to do anything about the stalker even when someone spikes her drink and she nearly dies from an allergic reaction.

Why? Because the bloody thick woman keeps throwing away evidence! That's one thing that annoyed me. The other thing that seemed quite jarring is her recurring nightmares. The book starts off with one where she is running into a building hoping to save someone but is too late and sees a murdered woman. It's very detailed. Later in the book, she has another nightmare about the murder of Alexis' wife, again in great detail which turns out to be the exact circumstances of the murder, right down to the identity of the murderer, details that she couldn't possibly know. The first recurring nightmare actually happens at the end of the book, in the exact same detail. yet nowhere in the book has she ever shown any other signs of being clairvoyant nor has it been mentioned that this is something that happens to her. If she had been, she probably wouldn't have been in the trouble she gets into.

Having said that, i did enjoy the book, even though i had the murderer figured out pretty early on. So much so that i even second guessed myself thinking it was too obvious but no, the more you read, the more you know it *is* indeed the obvious. It's just a matter of how and when. Good book, good dialogue, no long winded descriptions and tedium, right to the point even if the main character is a bit too naive for my tastes.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Hannah Hummel on July 17, 2011 : star star star star star
I loved almost everything about this novel, from getting to see the inner-workings of a symphony orchestra, to the almost paranormal foreshadowing. The only, very minor complaint I have is that the budding romance moved a little too fast for my tastes, emotionally.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: rhonda laney on July 13, 2011 : star star star star
I liked it and did not want to stop still I finshed it. I was involved in the story so much that I was crying in part of it.
Chris is a violinist in the Newton Philharmonic Symphony. She joined 6 months ago to work with Alexis Brooks who was the best in world right now. five years ago he was tried for killing his wife and got off on a tech. Most people think he got away with murder including his own father.
Chris does not believe he did it. Even with police,dr.. everyone trying to warn her.
Dwight is very jealous of Alexis scince high school. He keeps asking Chris out but she keeps saying no. He is second chair and was more involved while Alexis was not around.
Someone is terroring Chris. first with wierd phone calls than lots of faxes than paper all over front yard. drugged her tea which if she was not on phone at time she passed out would of died by allergic reaction. Takes pictures of her everywhere, emails,damaging house. Police belive its Alexis.
So Chris believes she needs to solve Alexis wife murder to stop her attacker.
Chris makes some stupid mistakes, but keeps trying to fight back. It shows a lot of how symphony works.
I was given this ebook in exchange for honest review
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Angie Creech on July 12, 2011 : star star star star
Chrispen has a crush on the first chair violin player, Alexis, who is in her orchestra even though he was once accused of murdering his wife. She soon finds that she is being stalked and the stalker is leaving threatening messages. Many people try to convince her that is Alexis but Chrispen won't believe it. She must find out who is threatening her and prove that Alexis didn't murder his wife before the stalker kills her
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Cathy T. on July 09, 2011 : star star
This is a Reading Good Books review.

The premise was really interesting. The whole stalker part was scary and I thought it was very effective. I am a bit familiar with classical music so I liked those parts too. The book started out well – clear explanations of what an orchestra is all about, good character introduction and development, and the stalker issue was creepy. It reminded me of a Criminal Minds episode. But unlike Criminal Minds and similar crime drama shows where they preserve evidence, Chrispen Marnett chose to get rid of it. Yes.

I wanted to like it, I really do. But the story was all over the place. Chrispen, orchestra, Alexis, stalker, murder, Kolbi, crushes, reunions, Mendelssohn, family issues, Dwight, jobs. It had so many goings on. Eventually, it got confusing and tiring. The plot, albeit had promise, was inconsistent. It had good moments here and there. The author could have used the orchestra more as a device to further the story rather than just a setting where often irrelevant and tedious stuff happened. It was kind of hard to read; I found myself re-reading some paragraphs over and over because I would get totally lost. And oh, I never thought I would see the word “fangirl” in a novel.

This is also the first time where the author gave away who the suspect was somewhere in the middle of the story. I mean, I knew who it was from the start anyway. It was not enough that it was obvious, the author had to point him out. I was so close to giving up after that but I soldiered on. I think the author tried to put doubt on who it really was when it was mentioned that Chrispen’s best friend’s hobby was lock-picking. REALLY NOW? How convenient. Come to think of it, it would’ve made for a better ending if it really was her best friend who threatened her.

The characters were poorly written, in my opinion. Like the story, they were all over the place. Chrispen was so frustrating. As the heroine of the story, she was so naive and it became irritating. Why would you destroy evidence of creepy, stalkerish behavior? To forget about it? Maybe it’s just me but I would preserve that and submit it to the police. Why would I keep the police out of it? I didn’t get it at all. The whole romance with Alexis Brooks started out nice but I… okay, would you get engaged to someone you barely know personally? Everything came out of nowhere and I thought it was nothing but filler. Also, was Chrispen psychic? Eh, whatever.

The other characters were confusing too. Except Kolbi Edwards. I liked her. The others were just so impossible and shallow. The ending tried to redeem the whole piece but fell short. It all came together in a nice red bow as all happily ever afters do. Eh.

I dislike giving low marks to books. I appreciate the effort the author put in to it. But I just could not wait for this book to be over. I probably won’t read it again.

Rating: 2/5.

Recommendation: If you are familiar with orchestras and classical music, you’ll find a couple of familiar names in this book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: dolphinchick on July 08, 2011 : star star star star
Couldn't put it down! Yes, Chrispen made me crazy with how she dealt..or didn't deal..with certain things. I was already so interested in her and others I still needed to know how she worked it out. Even if you feel you know what will happen, you have to keep going to find out if you're right or wrong! It's a really fun easy book to read..a fun little getaway!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: justmax on July 06, 2011 : star star star
What would you do if you found yourself being stalked by a mad man who fills your fax machines and covers your lawn with pages which say 'I see you', who drugs your iced tea, and breaks into your house to leave pictures of yourself with your head cut off. I know what I wouldn't do - I wouldn't destroy all the evidence and then get all lovey dovey with the guy everybody else, including the police and my mother, thinks is a murderer. But that is exactly what Crispin, the heroine of this story does. And why is she convinced that he didn't do it you might ask. Well, because he lays the violin so beautifully - a sure sign of an innocent man.

This book started out great. The whole stalker thing was suitably creepy and sent chills up my spine. Unfortunately, the story quickly devolved into a rather tepid romance with occasional glimpses of the original excitement. And, within a couple of chapters, I knew exactly who the murderer was - no mystery here.

Don't get me wrong, I rather liked this book. It was a fast, easy read. The question I had to ask myself, though, was do I give it four stars because it had such great potential as a straight up suspense novel or two stars because it was wasted. Finally, I decided to compromise and give it three stars. So, if you're looking for a fast little read on a lazy summer afternoon, you might enjoy this book. However, if you're looking for a good mystery, I'd give it a pass.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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