Red Leaves, by Paullina Simons

Cover ImageFinished 5-30-08, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 1996

“This world isn’t a black amoral hole where your actions have no meaning, and where nothing you do matters.  Did you ever think of the people you hurt?”

“They weren’t strong.  I didn’t ask them to be hurt.”                                Chapter 9

 This book has been on my bookshelf for so long that I can’t even remember why I picked it up in the first place.  There is a two paragraph blurb on the back that did not do the book justice and, in fact, seems to misrepresent the book itself.  So, with that said, I LOVED this book and encourage you to put it on your reading list.

Kristina, Conni, Albert, and Jim were a foursome since freshman year at Dartmouth.  They were seniors now and the fractured friendships were showing signs of wear.  Kristina and Jim were having problems and Conni was convinced that Albert was sleeping with Kristina.  Kristina just wants to start over with a clean slate and thinks maybe meeting detective Spencer O’Malley is her chance.  This description only covers the first fourth of the book or so, but to say more would ruin it.

The layers of mystery and intrigue are perfectly done.  I was so wrapped up in Kristina, Spencer, and the murder that I couldn’t put it down.  The players in this drama were so full of themselves and it was fascinating to see the character flaws that led them to do questionable things.  Only Spencer remains seemingly untouched by the dark side of human nature.

If you love mystery and drama with all the trimmings of money, greed, envy and love, you will love this book.  Highly recommended.