Books

Review: 'A Deadly Affection'

Mystery gives readers thrilling ride, ethics to ponder

How would I describe “A Deadly Affection” by Cuyler Overholt? A Lifetime Movie set in turn-of-the-century New York City, but with a bit more meat on its bones.

Overholt wastes no time throwing the mystery out there in the first chapter — babies of poor women given up for adoption unwillingly. And from there the story is off and running. There are more twists and turns in this novel than I expected.

The minute I thought I had the mystery solved, another twist was thrown into the mix, which left me (and Genevieve) a bit flummoxed. I enjoyed the multiple mysteries (murder and medical) and ethical dilemmas presented throughout the story as there was never a dull moment.

My favorite part of the novel was Genevieve Summerford, the main character. She is a recent graduate of medical school looking to make waves in the world of psychiatry via group therapy. Genevieve goes against the modern conventions of her time. She’s an educated woman who balks at the boxes society wishes to place her in which happens to get her into a bit a trouble as she gets more and more involved in the life of one of the patients.

I identified with Genevieve’s desire to make her mark in the world while trying to remain true to her family. Her discovery that her life in the upper crust of society has protected her from the grittier side of life opens her up and adds dimension and of course, conflict, in her life that she wasn’t expecting. It is at this intersection that A Deadly Affection shines.

Cuyler Overholt knows how to weave multidimensional mysteries with fully realized relatable characters. Readers who enjoy stories involving strong women and fans of medical history and mysteries should definitely check out “A Deadly Affection.”

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