Clare Prentice has had quite a rough time for the last couple of years. In the aftermath of her Mother’s death, she soon is in the Doctor’s office nervously awaiting the results of a needle biopsy and other tests. Her mother, Rose, died of breast cancer and Clare is terrified that she has it as well. Clare can’t move forward with her engagement until she knows her health status. The fact she is cancer free is a relief. Then the Doctor drops a bombshell.


Her mother was not her biological mother.


Within weeks, Clare learns there are no records of her adoption and that everything she has always believed was a lie. Her only clue leads her to the idyllic town of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. For the folks there, she is in town to interview a very reclusive local author. For Clare, she is on the hunt to find out her own family history. A history tied into a sensational murder case. And for a murderer, Clare back home is a problem to be dealt with as quickly as possible.


What follows is a complex and deeply layered tale that captivates the reader. Clare is both incredibly determined to find out her past no matter where the trail leads and incredibly vulnerable to the pain of such knowledge. She soon bonds with the reader in a unique way that makes the book come totally alive in every sense of the word.


The main storyline involves the murder and the family legacy. At the same time, two secondary storylines are interwoven into the main one. One involves Clare and her interview assignment. The other, the beginnings of a romance between Clare and one other character. Therefore, the novel contains both a fascinating decades old mystery and her search for the truth involving the crime as well as the beginnings of a romance.


Much like the legendary Phoenix who arose again from the charred ashes, Clare has been badly charred and yet flies again. Her flight is weak at first, but, as she slowly moves on from the burning lies of her past and fits the pieces of various puzzles together, she comes to find out that she can succeed.


This is, simply put, one of the best books I have read this year. It wouldn’t have been something I ordinarily would have picked up. It also isn’t being done the justice it deserves by this review. All I can say is … Read it. You won’t regret it.


Conspiracy of Silence

Martha Powers

Oceanview Publishing


ISBN# 978-1-933515-18-2


325 Pages



Review copy provided by publicist Maryglenn McCombs in exchange for my objective review.


Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

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