From acclaimed author Charlie Donlea comes a twisting, impossible-to-put-down novel of suspense in which a filmmaker helps clear a woman convicted of murder—only to find she may be a puppet in a sinister game.
The Girl of Sugar Beach is the most watched documentary in television history—a riveting, true-life mystery that unfolds over twelve weeks and centers on a fascinating question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend, Julian, while on a Spring Break vacation, or is she a victim of circumstance and poor police work? Grace has spent the last ten years in a St. Lucian prison, and reaches out to filmmaker Sidney Ryan in a last, desperate attempt to prove her innocence.
As Sidney begins researching, she uncovers startling evidence, additional suspects, and timeline issues that were all overlooked during the original investigation. Before the series even finishes filming, public outcry leads officials to reopen the case. But as the show surges towards its final episodes, Sidney receives a letter saying that she got it badly, terribly wrong.
Sidney has just convinced the world that Grace is innocent. Now she wonders if she has helped to free a ruthless killer. Delving into Grace’s past, she peels away layer after layer of deception. But as Sidney edges closer to the real heart of the story, she must decide if finding the truth is worth risking her newfound fame, her career . . . even her life.
About the Author
Credit – Carrianne Photography
USA Today bestselling author Charlie Donlea was born and raised in Chicago. He now lives in the suburbs with his wife and two young children. Readers can find him online at http://charliedonlea.com
As I started reading the first few pages of the book, I wanted to crawl under the covers and hide. The author grips readers with vivid details of Julian's last moments on this earth. I felt the slam to the back of the head and saw the red crimson blood dripping onto his shoulders. I knew this would be a book I couldn't put down. Why would someone so viciously murder Julian ? Could it be his girlfriend, Grace who in an act of rage who took his life?
When the verdict of guilty of first degree murder is read, Grace showed little emotion except to appear about reading to faint. What must be running through her mind as she is taken away? Her freedom is gone and she must spend her life behind bars reliving the nightmare she just went through. Years later Grace is sill claiming her innocence.
Sidney is an outstanding character with credentials that are very impressive. Her world will be turned upside down as she receives a letter from Grace ten years later while still in prison. She wants Sidney to prove her innocence. It was very creepy for me to read that Sidney has traveled to St. Lucia to stay in the same room Grace stayed in ten years ago. I liked the description of the area and found it to be very inviting. Sidney is not there to take in the sights , but to see if she can change Grace's life and prove her innocent. The documentary that Sidney is working on about Julian's murder is intense and very detailed. Will the help of Inspector Pierre help Grace or will she forever be guilty to the world? Some say the system rushed her conviction because they didn't want to hurt their tourism. Sidney must work closely with everyone to find the real truth behind Julian's murder.
As Sidney starts to interview Grace in prison, I loved the mention of the love lock. In Paris, couples have their names engraved on a lock. They then go to Pont des Arts Bridge and secure the log to the bridge. The key is tossed in the Seine. The lock symbolizes that you have found the person you want to spend your life with. Grace and Julian never made it to Paris, but to Sidney that lock shows their love for each other. I thought it was such a beautiful thing to do and I'm glad the author included it in Graces story.As Sidney starts to dig deeper into Grace's conviction, she starts to question if Grace was wrongly convicted. I loved the details of the crime lab and how the tests were run to prove evidence was not handled correctly. Sidney's documentary about the case being done live has gained a lot of attention. The story is captivating and will have you staying up late to finish. The book is packed with intrigue and has the government starting to take notice of the documentary. There are a few graphic parts in the story that may bother some along with a few cuss words. But I hope it won't keep you from reading on the best thrillers of the year. Its one of the best thrillers I've read with twists that caught me by surprise. Just when you think you have solved the crime, the author cleverly takes you in an unexpected direction. Expect the unexpected in this explosive story with an ending that will make you shake your head in shock.
I received a copy of this book from The Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. The review is my own opinion.