Monday, August 26, 2013

Anonymous Sources by Mary Louise Kelly

Release Date:  June 18, 2013
Publisher:  Gallery Books

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars.

Alexandra James covers the higher education beat for The Chronicle, a newspaper in the heart of Boston. Sent on what she expected to be an ordinary story about a student falling from the roof of a local university building, Alexandra quickly discovers that not everything is as it seems on the surface. The deceased, Thom Carlyle, is the son of a powerful Washington attorney and thus the wild goose chase has begun when it is revealed that certain aspects of the police investigation aren't making sense.

Using her reporter's intuition, she retraces Thom's steps during his time overseas in England as part of a student exchange program between Cambridge and Harvard. As the number of questions rise, so too does the level of danger that Alexandra finds herself in. What started as a straight-forward death investigation has now touched areas of secrecy inside the government that few are allowed to know about. Will she live to tell everything she knows? Will it be in time to prevent something catastrophic from happening?

From the start, I must say that I am glad to win this book from a giveaway. From the very beginning of the first chapter, there is a sense that a much larger, grander scheme is at work and not just a simple death to be looked into. The reader is thrust into the action with little to no explanation. We have to figure it out alongside the main character, Alexandra James, as she does her investigating. In truth, that type of approach can sometimes put a reader off a story but I thought it was used very effectively in this book.

Each of the characters has their own distinct personality and quirks galore. I honestly believe their flaws are what make the characters more believable. The facts that Alexandra has a weakness for liquor and shoes (among other things) and has a bad habit of standing up her best friend make her seem more real than just a person on a page. This same can be said of her boss, Hyde and his love of all things exotic from wall coverings to the disastrously nasty liquors he keeps in his office as a form of punishment for the reporters.

The pacing of the book started off quite steady, maintaining a good speed for much of the first half of the book. It did seem a little slow in a few places in the middle but picked back up as it neared the crest of the action. As the plot neared the peak of activity, the feeling of panic was quite easily evoked by the author's descriptions and timeline of events. It was refreshing to me that the resolution of the story didn't end abruptly after a specific point. The characters were giving ample opportunity and time to do what was needed to tie up the loose ends. That door for a sequel is open just a tiny bit. We'll have to wait and see what the author has up her sleeve.

Overall, I enjoyed the world set before me in the book. Though I'm not very knowledgeable on the subjects of politics or reporting, I found it easy to get swept up in the writing and learn as I turned each page. There's only one question that the book left me asking. What happened to Philby? If you're looking for a well-paced, action-packed thriller to keep you busy, then definitely give this book a shot.

Anonymous Sources by Mary Louise Kelly is available at various online stores including It can be purchased in either hardback, paperback or Kindle form. By clicking the link below, you can make your purchase.
Anonymous Sources by Mary Louise Kelly

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