Thursday, July 5, 2018

“Twist of Faith” by Ellen Green

Ava Saunders has come home to New Jersey from Montreal, to be with the aunt who raised her and who’s ailing. The aunt eventually dies, leaving Ava, a sister who’s in a nearby convent, and a mother in France. 

Ava also has an old Poloraid photograph of a house with its front door ajar. It’s a house where a double murder was committed. Why would her aunt have this photo involving people she never knew? Ava finds the house, and the next-door neighbor tells her the story. While they’re talking, a man in a car stops and asks for directions. For some unknown reason, Ava thinks the man has been watching her.

It turns out that he has. And he wants to kill her. 

Ava works at the local courthouse, and she enlists the help of a friend at work and a policeman assigned to the local prosecutor. The policeman, on the verge of being engaged, finds himself attracted to Ava. And then he’s injured by a hit-and-run driver.

Twist of Faith by Ellen Green has more than a twist of faith; it has more twists and turns than a roller coaster at the New Jersey shore. It also has characters, including the lead characters, whom the reader occasionally want to shakes sense into. And it gets increasingly difficult to find sympathy for any of this crazy cast of characters.

Ellen Green
Green holds degrees in psychology and has worked as a therapist in the psychiatric ward of a maximum-security correctional facility. She received an MFA degree in creative writing from Fairleigh-Dickinson University. She is also the author ofThe Book of James (2015) and Absolution, to be published in January 2019.Green lives in New Jersey.

The policeman continues to investigate, helped by Ava’s friend at work, and then Ava disappears. A photo shows up, a picture of Ava – dead. The investigation begins to reach back two decades, involving the man who was the father to the two aunts. He might be Ava’s grandfather, and he might not be. Whatever he is, he’s dead from what looked to be an accidental fall in the bathtub. Other friends of the same age have died accidental deaths. And it all may go back to the murder of priest.

Boring, it’s not. Twist of Faithis riveting even when it strains credulity. 

Top photograph by Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash. Used with permission.

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