I got this on a lark, it was a freebie at Audible with a premium membership and I needed something to go to sleep by (heh). At Audible it’s labeled genre fiction and on Amazon as fiction/literature but somewhere – maybe on the sorting part of the sale info, it said mystery or suspense or something like that. Anyway, I got it.
Finding Mrs Ford
By Deborah Goodrich Royce
2019 / (320 pages)
Read by Saskia Maarleveld 9h 35m
Rating: 8 / literary fiction
The last thing I really remembered when I’d drifted off, some FBI guys were approaching the well-to-do Susan Ford in 2014. There has been a man on his way to see her he was newly in from the Mideast – the Catholic Chaldeans are mentioned shortly after this – a Christian group in Syria and Iraq. He had Susan’s name and address in his possession. But there had been a chapter or two taking place in 1979. I did some research and this was apparently a 2019 literary publication which got some decent reviews.
“Deborah Goodrich Royce’s gripping and relatable literary suspense novel Finding Mrs. Ford unravels the decades-old secret behind an otherwise perfect life.”
Okay fine – sounds reasonable. I started over. This time was much better going. Quite a lot of it was a love story or two and wealth. But at least I was awake.
Part 1 introduces the reader to Susan, a young woman of about 20 years old and her friend Annie who is the same age. This is in Detroit in the summer of 1979. They’re supposed to be going to college in the fall but they get way-laid to waitress at a disco where dangerous and less than reputable people hang out. And then they fall in love, each with her own man. Susan is kind of straight-laced, but Annie flirts with trouble. In the next chapter it’s 2014 and Susan is approached by the FBI.
Part 2 (starting with Chapter 34 but occurring at some point on the night of the ending of Part 1) concerns Annie – Susan’s friend who gets her in trouble in Part 1. And the narrative continues to alternate between 1979 and 2014 with the reception room of the FBI There was some commotion there at the end of Part 1.
Fwiw, the Mafia and troubles in the Mideast have been raised as plot points and with the FBI involved in a 35-year old incident/crime. This is what got me into the novel – it was called a thriller with great twists and suspense.
So yes, it’s a clever plot with a nicely structured presentation. The characters are okay – believable but not really differentiated. The tension is very sparing to start out, but it’s there and it definitely increases steadily. The reason for the 7.5 rating is that there’s a very strong romance thread which just sneaks in there and that got old.