Friday, June 5, 2015

Dark Prayer by Natasha Mostert

Release Date: October 16, 2014
Publisher: Portable Magic, Ltd.
Author Website:

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Eloise Blake knew someone was after her, but couldn't explain the weird things happening to her. She saw phantom figures, heard whispered conversations that made no sense to her and saw rows upon rows of numbers again and again. Whatever meaning they hold, she needed answers without the help of man who claimed to know her as someone else.

Jack Simonetti was your average trust-fund baby, a guy who played hard and loose with his father's money, until he was caught on camera for the umpteenth time. As punishment he must travel to England and help his father's friend find someone. Along the way he discovered people are sometimes the cruelest to those they profess to love.

Finding this in the Mystery & Thriller section at NetGalley, I wondered how a young rich playboy could be a good detective if he had no such skills. I mean, he didn't do much at all except make his father angry at his antics. How did that translate into being a super sleuth and finding the lost person? Not to mention the fact I was intrigued by Eloise's plight. The poor woman felt like she was going crazy from all of the weird things happening. These separate lines coming together was something I needed to read for myself.

Much of the book focused on the two characters mentioned above. In a way both of them were trying to find their true selves, but Eloise's condition worsened to the point that it became the primary focus. Several secondary characters moved the story forward and cemented their places in the action as their skill set became needed. I liked the fact that each character remained independent of one another despite sharing some similarities. Case in point, Jack's father and a group of friends began a secret society which they talk about in the first few chapters of the book. Every member of this society had his or her own specific field of study and yet, some of the areas overlapped. To keep the members from becoming muddled, each of them have distinct characteristics such as physical singularities, mannerisms or merely the way they pronounce their words. All of these things made it easy to believe that they could have been real people in a present day situation - though that would be a terrible reality for a person if it were true.

Once the story began, the pace was steady and consistent. There was a sense of urgency and need lying barely below the surface and initiated a lot of the character's actions. Of course, the lingering feeling that someone was out to stop Jack and Eloise from discovering the truth helped as well. I thought it interesting how Jack's initial feelings about Eloise shifted from something akin to annoyance into a sense of protection as he delved deeper into the reason behind her current state of mind. As everything unraveled and revealed who all had ownership in the horrible deed, I knew a few of the answers that the duo would find, but not everything. There was a factor that I didn't see coming until it was right in front of me. That was a pretty pleasant surprise, but I was also repulsed that the deed was even conceived in the first place. No, I won't be more specific. This is a spoiler-free zone!

Overall, I really liked this book. There were several different elements that came together and created an interesting and intelligent story that wasn't weighed down by lots of scientific terms that I couldn't understand. The author inserted the necessary information and explained the complicated matters through her characters in such a way that I thought it was simply a part of a conversation or a bit of book left open to the right page. The story had a bit of everything to take me on a thrill ride and a few surprises that left me happy at the end. From action sequences to sinister motives, there's a lot of ground for the book to cover, but it does it well. If you're looking for a book with a twisted mind, devious friends and soul-shattering revelations, then pick this book up!

Dark Prayer by Natasha Mostert is currently available for purchase at many online retailers in hardcover, paperback or digital (Kindle) editions. The following is a link for the book's Amazon page.
Dark Prayer by Natasha Mostert

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