How far would you go to find out the truth? Would you go to the ends of the earth to bring your best friend’s murdered to justice? In James Moore’s Charlotte: The Price of Vengeance the title character sets out to prove that her best friend’s car accident was not an accident at all.
The novella is set in the 1970s near Chapel Hill, NC. Charlotte and her husband, Beau, are loving, soon-to-be empty nesters. Charlotte has spent the past two decades of her life being dedicated wife, mother and best friend, but her duties in two of her roles come to an end with her youngest child leaving for college and her friend, Carol Ann’s sudden demise. Charlotte has her suspicions about the culprit in Carol Ann’s passing. When she learns for certain that there is truth in her suspicions, she is determined to move forward in making Carol Ann’s killer pay the price for the crime.
It has been a while since I’ve read a suspense thriller. This one held my attention through the duration of the novella. The author’s style of storytelling is very easy and understandable. I had no issue with imagining how each scene played out, especially as the entire story is told in first person from Charlotte’s perspective. I could see everything she saw and empathize with her.
As for the plot, the question isn’t so much “Who did it?” or even “Why did they do it?” There was no doubt in my mind who committed the crime or even why they did it, which was a little disappointing for me because I was hoping there would be a plot-twist somewhere that would reveal the killer to be a character the reader would least expect. For the most part, the story played out the way I expected it to. It was predictable, but still entertaining. Seeing the evolution of Charlotte from the beginning to the end of her mission avenge Carol Ann was fun and a bit empowering. As she became less of the docile mother with little sense of purpose because her children have become adults and more of the bold heroine on a mission, I found myself smiling at her changes and feeling a growing pride with every move she made outside of her normal comfortable box. She had to become uncomfortable in order to achieve her goal, which resulted in her not only solving a crime, but also learning things about herself that she had never known.
All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and I wouldn’t mind reading another book by James Moore. I give it a four out of five stars because it entertained me and it had likable characters. My biggest gripe was that it was told in present tense, which could get annoying because there were times when the author would unintentionally switch to past tense in the same scene. Aside from that, this was a great effort by James Moore.
(review of free book)