The Verona Exchange: A Rainee Allen Mystery

Rated 4.75/5 based on 4 reviews
Now happily married and living in London, new intrigue surprises author Rainee Allen with one phone call.
The call gives her optimism for a long-awaited meeting. Joshua, the son she never got to know, wants to meet her. Her happiness is short-lived when Italy's Red Brigade kidnaps him.
With only her intuition to guide her, Rainee Allen becomes embroiled in mystery and suspense once again. More

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About Lauren B. Grossman

Lauren B. Grossman resides in Southern Arizona with her husband, two children, two dogs, and a desert tortoise. She earned a degree in theatre and has performed in, designed sets for, directed, and produced numerous productions. She has also earned awards for her short stories. Lauren's debut novel, "Once in Every Generation", has been an Amazon bestseller with over 16,000 downloads and over 2,000 print copies. Her second novel, "The Golden Peacock, a Rainee Allen mystery" is number one in a series. "The Verona Exchange, a Rainee Allen mystery" is the second in the series. That novel was co-written with her brother, Bernard Jaroslow, who resides in Louisville, KY.

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Christa Lloyd reviewed on July 25, 2020

A story of kidnapping crossing international borders. Enough background to give the characters depth the good guys suffer before the story ends with them defeating the bad guys. The fact that we have many people in our society who believe they should inflict their beliefs on others and take from them their hard earned cash underlays this thriller.
(reviewed 72 days after purchase)
Stuart Aken reviewed on Jan. 26, 2019

I picked up a copy of this book, as I’d enjoyed Lauren B. Grossman’s first in the series, The Golden Peacock. That dealt with a mystery surrounding the holocaust. This book deals with a kidnapping by the Italian Red Brigade.
Although this is essentially a thriller, great attention has been given to building the characters and making them real people. There’s some small backstory for those unfamiliar with the central protagonist, Rainee, who is a writer. The scene is set quite quickly so that we’re into the story relating the intended meeting of Rainee with a son she gave into adoption when he was only a week old and she was 21. This section of the book provides a good deal of emotional content, and sets up the reader to care about what happens to the cast of characters in subsequent chapters.
There are some editing fails and sometimes a little ‘info-dumping’ but, by and large, the writing is good, and it certainly carries the story through. There are scenes in Italian cities that took me right back to a recent holiday I spent there; recognising those locations was fun.
The action starts when the kidnap occurs and continues as the risk and danger is ramped up with events. Rainee is one of those characters who never knows when she should stop and let others take on the task; there’s an element of obsession that places her in danger, for the best of reasons. The reader is therefore treated to situations in which the natural response is ‘Don’t do it, Rainee!’, and that’s followed by the need to make sure she escapes the danger into which she’s ventured.
The denouement builds well, with plenty of twists and jeopardy along the way, and is resolved in a satisfactory manner. The ‘clean-up’ of events following the climax is short, and provides the reader with closure regarding the characters.
A good read.
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)
sherry fundin reviewed on Sep. 20, 2018

The Verona Exchange is the second book in a Rainee Allen mystery series.The Golden Peacock, Book I took place in London. The Verona Exchange takes place in Italy and in Book III, Prague will be our destination.

The book opens with Rainee working on her mystery novel and she receives a call from her long lost son, Joshua. She had given him up for adoption twenty three years ago and he would like to meet her. She agrees without blinking an eye and it’s off to Italy.

I know something bad is coming and I feel a sense of impending danger, menace, apprehension, wondering when and who. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be alone and in trouble in a foreign country. It would be hard to communicate if you don’t speak the language. How long would it be before you are missed? How much damage could you suffer before anyone is even looking for you?

Tick tock, the clock is ticking and time is running out.

The betrayal runs deeper than Rainee and Joshua could imagine, but I saw it coming. Something about the way Lauren Grossman and Bernard Jaroslow wrote that I could see that writing on the wall.

Rainee has great instincts and it’s a good thing she follows them. Joshua shows his maturity and bravery, when the time comes…though there is one part where he could have used some urgency instead of….well, you will have to read the book to find out. There are plenty of bad guys and plenty of good guys. Sometimes your enemy can be your friend and ally.

There is plenty of action while running through Italy, being the pursued and the pursuer, just depends on the moment.

I debated on my rating, between a 3 or a 4. The Verona Exchange was too predictable and I like to be tested. The danger had a sense of urgency, and, yeah, there was some violence, but I love it wicked evil, unable to stop reading. I enjoyed the book, but it didn’t take me to another place. It could be because I just finished reading a couple mind blowing books and I was on the road. Even as I write this review I’m debating and I usually know pretty quickly into the book. Okay, a 4 it is. NOW, if you choose to read it, I would love to know what you think.

This brother and sister duo did a collaboration, Lauren B Grossman writing Rainee’s POV and Bernard Jaroslow writing Joshua’s POV, all while sharing their work to smooth over any rough patches. An interview at the end of the book shares their thoughts on the collaboration.

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of The Verona Exchange by Lauren B Grossman and Bernard Jaroslow.
(reviewed 42 days after purchase)
Lynn Hallbrooks reviewed on Aug. 14, 2018

Reader's note: This is the second book in a series. If you haven't done so I highly recommend you read the first one, The Golden Peacock, beforehand. That said, if you are sensitive to violence as well as adult language and situations, then perhaps these are not the books for you.

Rainee Allen is one determined lady especially when you threaten her family.

I could so relate to how Rainee was feeling and I just had to see how things unfolded. I would like to think that I would have the same grit and determination if my maternal "hackles" were raised.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)

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