a respectable actress {book review}

A Respectable Actress

by Dorothy Love

A Respectable ActressWhen India Hartley is accused of murder, she must uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.

India Hartley, a famous and beautiful actress, is now alone after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.

A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.

Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia lowcountry and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.

 

I nearly finished this book in a day.

Truly!  I had to work at 9am the next day, but it didn’t stop me from staying up into the wee hours of the night because I wanted answers!  The very beginning captivated me; intertwining the ‘normal world’ with the inciting incident was done brilliantly!  I really couldn’t stop reading–I polished off 250 out of the 350 or so pages in one night…

 

I really enjoyed the background and character of India.

I loved how she had gone through the kind of hardship in her life that could have hardened her as a person, but that she was still meek and gentle; naive even.

 

The mystery had me totally stumped.

I was completely surprised as the mystery unfolded!  One completely unexpected plot twist after another had me reeling.  As more and more came to light, the emotional tensions built up to a terrible torture…that delicious kind of torture that drives us readers to love mysteries so much.  I won’t say any more about it, you’ll just have to endure it yourself…

I did feel like faith was not emphasized enough in her battle for freedom and redemption.

I felt like while she was indeed a beautiful picture of a meek and gentle spirit, the faith and trust in God was lacking.  I feel like there was a great platform for this in hers and Philip’s struggle with proving her innocence, but was disappointed that it was not more clearly portrayed.

The prose in which the book was written was fluid and a delight to read.

Skillfully written, I enjoyed the subtle descriptions of setting, but the emphasis being on the emotional tension of the scene.  Being a more character driven person, I get bogged down with long illustrious description.  I far more enjoy reading about what the character is feeling and thinking rather than what the room in which she is sitting looks like!  The author did a beautiful job of balancing the two.

 

Though it had its flaws, I really over all enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from Dorothy Love in the future!

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.

Amy B
Editor
Jesus lover. Obsessive coffee drinker. Chocolate consumer. Plays guitar. Sings too loud. Apple girl. Wordaholic. Bookie. Music junkie. Techy. Unlikely hipster.

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