The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about hate, love, betrayal and forgiveness.
If you found out you had only 3 months to live, what would you do? That’s the question Janie Knox faces in this fast-paced mystery full of uncertainty and tension that will surprise you until the very last page.
Hiding behind the façade of a normal life, Janie keeps her family secrets tucked inside a broken heart. Everything changes on the day she learns she’s going to die. With the clock ticking and her time running out, she rushes to finish what she couldn’t do when she was 17—destroy her mother’s killer. But she can’t do it alone.
Janie returns to her childhood home to elicit help from her sister. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles. Meanwhile her mother’s convicted killer, her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution. New revelations challenge Janie’s resolve, but she refuses to allow either time or her enemies to her stop her from uncovering the truth she’s held captive for over 20 years.
I don't remember ever reading a book quite like this one. It is the journey of a family, torn apart by betrayal and secrets. It has elements of romance, suspense, and mystery, but not so much so that you could easily categorize this book as any of those three.
Janie has been hiding family secrets for her entire adult life. Now, she is also hiding her own truth, that she is going to die. She seeks resolution of her past, to make things right before she leaves this world. On the surface, she seems like a very selfish person. As the story evolves, though, you begin to like her even more. She goes through the more subtle transformation in the book, as it happens so slowly. In some ways, it was almost like she had the bigger transformation.
Marly is a mess. She is not as adept as Janie at hiding how she feels, though she thinks she is. She doesn't realize how many family secrets exist. She is cowardly about facing her problems. She does have the inner strength to deal with it all, but just doesn't know it. Her life is only just beginning.
Eloise is a tough woman to like. You want to love her, based on her memory. When you find out the truth about her, it is tough to accept. In the end, you do realize that she did what she thought was best, and can't really fault her for it.
Their story is a tangled mess that slowly unravels as you make your way through the book. You are curious to find out each revelation. I found it very easy to stick with it. I admit that I had a few of the lesser characters a little mixed up in the beginning, but quickly sorted out all of them. I did find myself wondering what I would have done if I were in their situation, and was ever so grateful that I don't have such stories in my own past.
I liked this story a lot. It was "light" enough that I could read it in one evening, yet had enough substance on which I could chew as I turned the pages. A nice change of pace.
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About the author:Award-winning author Joan C. Curtis will release her first mystery, The Clock Strikes Midnight on November 25, 2014. She has also authored four business books published by Praeger Press numerous stories.
Her first place writing awards include: Best mystery manuscript in the Malice Domestic Grants competition, best proposal for a nonfiction piece in the Harriette Austin competition, and best story, Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar in the Cassell Network of Freelance Writer’s Association.
Hire Smart and Keep ‘Em: How to Interview Strategically Using POINT, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA 2012.
The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, Praeger Press, 2010, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA Managing Sticky Situations at Work: Communication Secrets for Success in the Workplace, 2009, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA.
Strategic Interviewing: Skills for Savvy Executives, 2000 published by Quorum Books, Greenwood Press.
Joan has been an avid reader for as long as she can remember. She reads all kinds of books, including women’s fiction, mysteries, biography, memoir and nonfiction. Joan says, The Clock Strikes Midnight is exactly the kind of book she loves to read.
“I write about characters who remind me of myself at times and my sister at times, but never fully so. My stories are told from a woman’s point of view. Characters drive my writing and my reading.”
Having grown up in the South with a mother from Westchester County New York, Joan has a unique take on blending the southern traditions with the eye of a northerner. She spent most of her childhood in North Carolina and now resides in Georgia.
Check out her website: www.joancurtis.com and her blog www.joancurtis.com/blog
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