Happy Friday! Joanne Fluke is the author of A Hannah Swensen Mystery series (featured on Hallmark Movie and Mystery Channel) as well as Dead Giveaway, Wicked, Winter Chill, Fatal Identity, The Other Child, Eyes, and Deadly Memories. Did you know Ms. Fluke wrote suspense novels? Readers can find Joanne Fluke on Facebook and her website.
The Stepchild is a suspense novel by Joanne Fluke. Kathi Ellison is a student at University of California in Berkley and is secretly living with her boyfriend, David. She has yet to tell her parents because she knows they will not approve. Plus, it would not look good if word got out during her father’s U.S. Senate campaign. Kathi has recently started experiencing severe migraines and strange dreams. Then she starts going into trances where her voice and handwriting change. When Kathi comes out of the trance, she remembers nothing about it. Memories start coming to Kathi, but they do not belong to her. Kathi is remembering the childhood of a little girl named Sherri Walker. What is happening to her? Kathi is afraid to tell anyone even her boyfriend. David has noticed her strange behavior, but he cannot get Kathi to confide in him (or seek professional help). Who is Sherri Walker and what happened to her? Kathi starts having nightmares. Things are spiraling out of control. Kathi needs to figure out what is happening to her. But will she like the answers when she finds them?
The Stepchild was easy to read and has a good pace (I am trying to start with the positive attributes). I discovered after I started reading The Stepchild, that is not a newly written novel (the publisher should be disclosed that it is a republished novel). It is easy to tell by the number of cigarettes people smoke, Kathi living with a man was not appropriate and the availability of payphones (I have not seen a payphone in years). The author (or editor) should have updated the book. I thought the story was predictable. I knew how the story would play out after reading the prologue. My rating for The Stepchild 2 out of 5 stars. The ending felt incomplete, abrupt and unsatisfying (and strange). One item (a big one) was never addressed (regarding David and Kathi). I kept hoping for a good twist, a ghost, or that Kathi had a mental illness (schizophrenia). The story is supposed to be scary, but it does not come through (I was bored). I do want to mention that there are intimate relations (many sites do not allow the use of the word "sex") between Kathi and David are vividly described. The Stepchild was just not the right story for me.
I appreciate you taking time out of your day to read my review. I will be reviewing The Blessing: Amish Cooking Class by Wanda E. Brunstetter next time. May you have a fantastic Friday. Take care and Happy Reading!