SILENT WAGER

Author(s): 
Preserving a legacy. That's what Max Granville is desperately trying to do after his family's home-turned-restaurant sustains a huge amount of damage after a hurricane. Problem is, he's allowed the insurance policy to lapse and can't afford the repairs. His wife, Camille, is devastated. Although she fully supports him, she feels betrayed. Add to the mix a spoiled, unruly college-bound daughter whose main focus in life is one thing -- herself.

Just when Max has given up all hope of recovering from his losses, a shrewd investor turns up and lends a helping hand. Max is elated, not realizing that his helping hand has turned into the hand that deals a fatal blow. As Max and Camille embark on a Hawaiian cruise, everything is perfect -- the business is doing well, they are getting along with their daughter and life is good. But when a fire breaks out on the ship and events take a tragic turn, Camille and her daughter find themselves fighting for the one thing that will forever keep Max's memory alive.

Bunkley does a wonderful job of weaving this storyline. With true-to-life characters and the right mix of deceit and betrayal, readers will consistently keep turning the pages till the very end. Unexpected twists add excitement, danger and shock -- elements of a true winner. Most of all, this story teaches an important lesson about love, truth and loyalty. (May, 352 pp., $14.00)
Reviewed by: 
Belinda Williams