A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to review Red Dawn Rising which is book two in the Red Returning Triology. It was such a good read, I wanted to read and review book one in the series, Sound of Red Returning. I was not a bit disappointed! Although I knew from book two that book one was going to come out alright, it was still a good adventure.
Our heroine, Liesl Bower, is a gifted concert pianist who has studied with the famous and who has given concerts on the stages across the globe. But she seems targeted by international agents who are after something she possesses but that she doesn't realize she has.
Having studied under the superb tutorage of Schell Devoe, an internationally acclaimed Harvard music professor, she was able to travel for study in Russia. After her beloved mentor's murder, she learns he was a double agent - betraying both his own country, America, and Russia.
Sound of Red Rising is set primarily in Charleston, South Carolina but you will flit in and out of Washington as well. The characters in this book are Cade and his grandfather, Ian, who live in the basement apartment of Liesl's grandmother's home. There is a bit of beginning romance between Liesl and Cade, and the grandfather, Ian, is a "real character." Ian and Chad "cowboy" in on the adventure with the CIA and FBI.
There is a good measure of sound spiritual wisdom without sounding preachy. A good book and I'm glad I went back and read book one, Sound of Red Returning. Can't wait for the third book to come out.
Experience footnote of my own: Having lived during the "Cold War" and knowing the very real tension between the US and Russia during this period, I found this story especially interesting. The underlying theme of Red Returning is daunting.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Sound of Red Returning by Kregel Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
The Sound of Red Returning is the first book in a new trilogy by Sue Duffy. It is set largely in Charleston, South Carolina, with a few other venues used in the story. The second book in the trilogy, Red Dawn Rising was released about two months ago and will be reviewed here in the next few days.
Liesl Bower has had a childhood filled with loss. First, her favorite aunt and one she is very close to dies at the hands of her father when Liesl is 14. Then, she receives word a few years later that her father has died in Mexico. Two years later her mother dies from cancer. Lastly, her mentor and the man who was like a second father to her is shot right before her eyes and declared guilty of treason while she is in college. Liesl now is 37 years old and a very successful, well known pianist. She has played before heads of state, royalty and the famous. However, soon her past is going to emerge as she becomes the target of Russian intelligence forces. Why is she a target? What do they think she knows? Her life is again invaded by the CIA and she encounters an old agent who had interrogated her after her mentor's murder. Who can Liesl trust now?
Readers will see Liesl initially as concerned only with herself and how everything affects her. She has no real regard for how actions affect others. She begins to understand the bigger picture in her life and slowly acknowledges the Creator and His presence in her life. She learns that only He can fill the void and emptiness in her life.
Cade O'Brien is unemployed and living with his grandfather, Ian O'Brien, in Florida. Cade is determined to return to his home in Charleston and find a new job. His grandfather returns with him to help him get settled. The relationship between the two men is funny, loving and just a delight to witness. Cade lives in an apartment below Liesl though she has been living in Georgetown for the past year. Liesl returns, looking for something the Russians and CIA are desperate for and soon Cade and Ian are involved in the search. Cade and Liesl soon develop romantic feelings for one another. Cade has learned about God from his grandfather and trusts Him completely. Will Liesl be able to do the same?
The plotline is very interesting, entertaining and the action fast-paced. I found this book exciting and filled with tension and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I thought Liesl at times was selfish and childish, but in the end she was growing spiritually and relationally. I loved the addition of Ian O'Brien to the story for comic relief and spiritual wisdom. The pages will turn quickly in this spy thriller novel, so don't miss out!
Liesl Bower is now the center of attention. Not that she didn't want this attention but those that are looking for her want something more than her ability to play the piano as a prodigy! She learns she has been given a gift by her beloved mentor, Schell Devoe, a prominent Harvard music professor who was murdered in his own home. What he gave Liesl was some sheets of music, in which she didn't think anything about it, until unexpected people began following her.
She later learns that Schell Devoe was a double agent for both the US and Russia and in his final moments passed off some music to her that everyone wants that has been secretly coded in some fashion and people will stop at nothing to ensure she gets it. Now the stakes are high when Russia has sent some agents to locate Liesl, retrieve the music and leave no lasting witnesses.
I received The Sound of Red Returning by Sue Duffy, the first book in the Red Returning series compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. While this book was a bit of a slow start for me, I found it began to pick up by about the 5th chapter. For those fans of stories of espionage and suspense, then this will be a must read for you. I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.
This was my first book to read by Sue Duffy, and it won't be my last as I look forward to reading the other 2 books in this trilogy.
Weaving together classical music and spy mystery Duffy's writing is believable and intriguing. Not only is this is a great mystery, but we get to really know the characters ... who they are and why they are who they are.
It's been fifteen years since famous pianist Liesl Bower saw her beloved Harvard mentor gunned down, since the CIA disclosed his double life as a Russian spy. She was interrogated and released, with no incriminating evidence against her. But now, something has happened to set Russian and CIA agents on her heels. New intelligence suggests that Liesl possesses a coded message critical to a resugence of Soviet power.
As global tensions mount, the Russians are in a frenzy to find the code before the Americans. Standing in their way, though, is the young pianist from the tidal creeks and secret-shrouded lanes of Charleston, South Carolina. As Liesl outruns the tip of the Russian spear, she must reckon with the wounds of her past, the love of a man she never thought could be hers, and the prevailing power of God. In the final hour, on a world stage, Liesl must deliver a message of her own.
Liesl Bower is hiding. Not by choice. She is the possessor of the fate of the nations. And she doesn't even know it. Russian spies follow her every move and struggling to keep ahead is the CIA. I thought everything happened a little to fast. The action, the romance, etc. Also Sue seemed to describe everything to the point to where you didn't believe it anymore. I also got a little confused to by all the flashbacks. I didn't even know how old Liesl was until the 4th chapter, I thought she was a little girl. My favorite character was the grandmother. She was so cute and funny! So although this book wasn't my favorite, it was clean and enjoyable.