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The Lost Concerto    by Helaine Mario order for
Lost Concerto
by Helaine Mario
Order:  USA  Can
Oceanview, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Maggie O'Shea has just lost her best friend to a violent murder at the same time her friend's child, Maggie's godson, disappears. She is still recovering from the shock of losing her beloved husband to a tragic boating accident. How much more can she handle?

Maggie is a classical pianist who can no longer find the impetus to place her fingers on the keys of her piano, let alone give a concert. Through no fault of her own, she becomes entangled with those responsible for missing art and musical artifacts, criminal elements, secrets from the past as well as deadly terrorists.

Maggie is determined to find her godson, whom she had promised to raise if something should happen to his mother. This is no easy task as she discovers once she starts the search.

Just learning how to live with loss is the first lesson she must conquer. She battles this as she untwists the clues that will put her on the right path to finding the little boy.

It seemed to me that every page contained enough suspense and thrills to keep us all up late at night reading. As Maggie continues her search for the child, it appears as though everything that could go wrong for her does.

As tension mounts, it is so easy to put yourself in Maggie's shoes. The Lost Concerto by Helaine Mario races to a conclusion that kept me almost breathless. Maggie's determination and courage drives this work to an ending I did not expect But one that was the right one. Don't miss The Lost Concerto.

2nd Review by Barbara Lingens (Rating:3):

A mute French boy holds a secret notebook the CIA wants to get its hands on. Maggie, the boy's godmother, discovers her long-ago lover, whom she thought died in the Middle East, alive in France. A professional art connoisseur is surrounded by an unparalleled treasure trove of artifacts he cannot make public. Helaine Mario wraps these stories together in The Lost Concerto to give us a very satisfying read.

The fact that the CIA's Cultural Property Crimes team is investigating a case and wants Maggie's help just keeps getting in the way of her finding out what happened to the godson, who disappeared after witnessing the violent death of his mother. The search takes her to a music festival in Aix-en-Provence, where some of the answers start to come. Amid descriptions of beautiful scenery, some very scary events take place. Author Mario has a way of warning us when something is about to happen, and sure enough, in the next pages we get a full explanation of the hint. This definitely keeps our interest.

As satisfactory as the mystery is, so are the characters. We are dealing with middle-aged adults who have all had quite a history, much of it connected with terrorism and crime. As their stories emerge, we find ourselves able to understand how many things could have gone wrong, and even though there are still a few loose ends at the end, the characters we care about have found their way to a better place than they were in before. This is a first novel and a very impressive one.

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