Book Review

SHEET MUSIC
by M.J. Rose

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Suspense

RT Rating

In this clever meshing of scintillating mystery and romance, Rose combines a young journalist's search for the perfect story with the disappearance of a famous musician. After breaking a story in Paris by unethically revealing the confidences of a lover, Justine Pagett must redeem herself by interviewing an elusive celebrity.

Leaving Paris to return home to New York, Justine tries to make peace with her father and sister, from whom she has been estranged since her mother's death several years ago. She also meets with Austen Bell, a former lover and musician who was once the son-in-law of famed composer and musician Sophie DeLyon. Sophie has agreed to allow Justine to conduct an interview at her musical institute, Euphonia, in Connecticut. And it is Justine's greatest hope that this interview will once again put her in the good graces of her editor.

In a creative twist of fate, Justine and Austen journey to Euphonia together, following the disappearance of Sophie, whose boat was found beached after a late-night sailing excursion. The sorrow of Sophie's students, especially Austen's son, Charlie, is such a tangible torment that it leaps from the pages. Could one of these grieving students have sent Justine the threatening messages requesting she call off her interview with Sophie?

Justine's bitterness over her mother's death and her parents' cold marriage reflects every aspect of her life, as she refuses to succumb to loving another, believing that her mother loved her father unrequitedly. The discovery of her mother's secrets is carefully paralleled against the mystery of Sophie's disappearance and the untold secrets behind Sophie's life. Chock full of suspense and hidden secrets, this haunting, dramatic novel will absorb readers. (May, 336 pp., $22.95)

Reviewed By: Sheri Melnick

Publisher: Ballantine

Published: May 2003

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