Web Of Secrets is an interesting read, Ernesto Patino explores many avenues and bubbling just under the surface is the subject of racial prejudice. Set in the mid 90’s the story revolves around some events that occurred thirty years previously. Yet even in the 90’s there are still vestiges of racism. Although racial issues are not a major factor in the plot, they are at the very heart of some of the subplots that Ernesto Patino develops.

For me Web Of Secrets came at a very curious time. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I asked to preview an upcoming DVD release titled Prom Night In Mississippi, this documentary looks at racial issues in a small town in Mississippi, and I was horrified that racism seems to be alive and well even today. I think it was because of watching that program that I so readily tuned into the theme of Web Of Secrets.

Sarah Baker is an average middle aged happily married woman. Her idyllic life is forever changed by a mysterious phone call, a man who offers her some unique and disturbing information about her real parents.  There are few adopted people that could resist the temptation for finding information about their real heritage and Sarah is no exception.

The information is shocking, according to the photographs her father was a black man. Even worse Sarah seems to have become a victim of a blackmailer who is requesting $4,000 to buy his silence. Sarah’s friend Delores suggests that she contact a Private Investigator, Joe Coopersmith.

With Joe on board, the story behind Sarah’s parents gradually emerge. Joe is a PI with a nose for trouble, and it does not take him long to realize that the case is much more than a simple blackmail plot.  The events surrounding the circumstances surrounding Sarah’s birth some 30 years previously contain some very dark secrets.

To share more of the plot would be a disservice to readers. Ernesto Patino has created a fast paced novel with many twists and turns in it. His characters are well developed and I for one hope that he decided to use Joe Coopersmith in some future books. I think Joe makes the ideal lead character.

Actually I suspect that that is indeed Ernesto Pantino’s plan, there is a delightful twist on the last page that just begs for another story to be written.

I give Ernesto Pantino very high marks for Web Of Secrets and I do look forward to his future books.

You can order your copy by clicking on the cover art above.

Simon Barrett

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