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Synopsis:

Lake Warren is forty-four years old and in the midst of a divorce initiated by her husband, Jack, who has moved out of their Upper West Side apartment. Working as a marketing consultant for a Manhattan fertility clinic, Advanced Fertility Center, Lake’s legal issues have just worsened: Jack has petitioned the court for full custody of their two children, Amy and Will, both of whom are away for several weeks at summer camp. Lake is warned by her lawyer to maintain her normal routine vis a vis the children, limiting overnight business trips and delegation of the children’s care to nannies or babysitters. Most importantly, he advises that, since she is not dating anyone at the present time, she refrain from introducing any potential new suitors to the children. The custody claim is “probably a ploy for money,” the lawyer tells her, given that Jack will be liable for both child and spousal support, in addition to dividing the community assets with Lake. Still, since Jack might go so far as to employ a private investigator to monitor her activities, he advises Lake to be extremely conservative and cautious, pending resolution of the custody matter.

Dr. Mark Keaton has decided to join the Advanced Fertility Center’s Park Avenue practice, so Lake is invited to join the staff for a celebratory dinner. Lake is attracted to Keaton, even though she senses that he is a ladies’ man, a player. She is disappointed when he tells her that his plan to join the practice may have hit a snag, and the clinic may not be the best place for him, after all. Despite her attorney’s advice, Lake accepts Keaton’s invitation to join him at his apartment for an after-dinner drink and, uncharacteristically, sleeps with him. Awake at three o’clock and unable to fall back asleep, Lake wanders out to Keaton’s twelfth-floor terrace as he continues sleeping soundly in the bedroom’s apartment. She settles in on a comfortable chaise lounge, the city lights around her and “the air as soft as a piece of warm cloth against her skin,” and soon dozes off.

At 5:13 a.m., Lake awakes with a start. As she moves back into the apartment, she sees that the bedroom door, which she had closed halfway, is now fully open. The bathroom light is on and she hears water running. Thinking that Keaton is in the bathroom, she softly asks him, “Are you looking for me?” When he doesn’t answer, Lake continues into the bedroom, realizing that Keaton is still in bed, lying on his back — in a puddle of his own blood! His throat has been slashed and his right hand is clenched in a fist near his neck, frozen in place as though he died reaching for the wound. Indeed, he is dead.

Review:

Author
Lake Warren is intelligent, attractive, successful, and just beginning to reclaim the self-confidence that was shattered when Jack pulled away from her and, eventually, their marriage. She is also lonely and feeling very vulnerable when she meets Dr. Mark Keaton and decides, just for one night, to forget about caution and fulfill her own needs. When Lake discovers that Keaton has been murdered as she slept on his terrace, she flees the scene. Subsequently, fearing that her presence in Keaton’s apartment will make her a murder suspect and cost her custody of her children, Lake lies to the police about her whereabouts on that evening.

Author Kate White has penned five best-selling mysteries featuring crime journalist Baily Weggins, in addition to serving as the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine. Seeking to write a psychological suspense thriller with a darker theme, she was intrigued by the notion of a fertility clinic as a setting because of the experiences of friends who have struggled with fertility issues. The clinic setting also provided fertile ground for suspense, given that the industry is largely unregulated and there have been some headline-making mistakes made by fertility specialists in recent years. The two concepts merged, resulting in the creation of a compelling new female protagonist, Lake Warren, who makes a reckless choice one night and, in the aftermath, discovers that she has placed everything she holds dear in jeopardy.

In a situation like that, as a mom, you go with your instincts and you make a choice. Even though her choice was legally wrong, I would have done exactly the same thing.
~ Author Kate White

Lake soon realizes that someone either knows that she was in Keaton’s apartment on the night he was murdered or her husband is trying to frighten her into giving him custody. The police do not appear to have any immediate leads as to the identity of the killer, and Lake continues receiving insider tips through the image consultant the fertility clinic quickly hires to perform damage control. But with each bit of information she learns, Lake realizes that she is in danger — and her children might be, too.

The story is a veritable roller coaster of suspense and emotions as Lake struggles to uncover the truth before the police figure out that she was the woman who visited Keaton’s apartment on the evening of his death. Lake has to be brave and continue her investigation in order to save herself, her family, and her career, but she is extremely frightened and, as events unfold, it is clear that her fears are justified. Nothing and no one seems to be off-limits and Lake has no way of knowing who might be trust-worthy, especially when it appears that the killer might be someone on staff at the clinic who was literally handed access to Keaton’s apartment — and may have observed Lake there. The “snag” to which Keaton might have been referring when he stated that his association with the clinic may not come to fruition could have to do with clinic practices or one or more aspects of Keaton’s personal life. White provides her readers with a plethora of possibilities, any one of which could lead to the truth, along with an entire supporting cast of potential suspects, each of whom has a plausible motive for wanting Keaton dead and Lake out of the way, as well.

The action is nonstop and pulse-accelerating, as Lake draws close to solving the mystery, then encounters another dead-end. For the most part, that start-and-stop action, set against the backdrop of Manhattan’s neighborhoods and burroughs, is largely believable and realistic, from the posh Upper East and West Side locales to the smells emanating from the Hudson River. There are only a couple of times when readers must suspend disbelief in order to remain invested in the tale. One such moment is when Lake reaches out to an investigative reporter who, despite the fact that he has never met Lake before and has not researched her background, gives up the name of a source. It’s a minor plot point, however, and entirely forgivable, especially since it could be argued that the lead had not proved useful and the reporter may have been hoping that Lake would be able to develop the story for him if he leaked the information to her. Indeed, the two end up collaborating and, by the time all of the mysteries are solved and Lake’s life appears to be returning to normal, White hints that their relationship may be on the verge of sequing from professional to personal.

White is a skilled mystery writer, keeping the action moving at a fast pace and holding the reader’s attention to the very last page. Unlike some authors who telegraph the killer’s identity early in the story with the reader’s remaining challenge being only to see if he/she guessed correctly at the outset, White deftly throws her reader completely off course . . . and keeps him/her guessing until the moment White selects to reveal the back story. For the record, I did not correctly deduce the killer’s identity and was completely shocked when White explained who murdered Keaton and why. I was completely taken in, as I’m sure White intended me to be, in part because I became immersed in Lake’s plight, as well as her ever-heightening anxiety. I was tempted to make sure the doors and windows were locked and pull a table in front of my front door, even as Lake barricaded herself in her New York apartment when she thought the killer might pay her a visit there.

The underlying premise of Hush is ultimately what makes the story intriguing and Lake’s journey so exciting: What if you told a lie in order to protect yourself and your family from the consequences of a momentary and quite uncharacteristic lapse in judgment? What kind of fall-out might result? And could it possibly be worse than had you told the truth in the first place? Who would you turn to for help? Would there be anyone with whom you could share the truth? “If there’s something you don’t want anyone to know, the only person you should tell is yourself,” White says. For Lake Warren, one word to the wrong person could be her undoing. But will it be? The fun lies in finding the answers to those questions.

This was my first exposure to White’s work. She is reportedly at work on a new stand-alone novel. I look forward to reading that, as well as the Bailey Weggins mysteries, and highly recommend Hush.

I read Hush in conjunction with the 2011 Read ‘n’ Review and Outdo Yourself Challenges. I’m participating in the February 2011 Loving the Reviews Challenge.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of Hush free of charge from the author in conjunction with the TLC Book Tours review and virtual book tour program. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own. This disclosure complies with 16 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Enter to Win a Copy of Hush

Author Kate White has graciously provided a copy of Hush to be awarded to one lucky reader who will be selected at random!

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment! Be sure to include your email address (for notification purposes).

Bonus Entries:

Leave a separate comment below for each bonus entry

  • Become a follower of Colloquium on Google Friend Connect or confirm that you are already a follower (leave your Google Friend Connect name)
  • Follow Colloquium on Facebook Networked Blogs. (Note: Asking to be my friend on Facebook does not count as a bonus entry.)
  • Follow me on Twitter — be sure to leave your Twitter name in the comment
  • Subscribe to Colloquium via RSS or Email and confirm your subscription
  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave the link to your tweet in a comment!
  • Post this giveaway on Facebook and leave the link to your post in a comment!

The book can only be shipped to a United States or Canadian address (no P.O. box).


The comment left by Piink Poodle was selected at random!

Thank you to all who participated!


88 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Stein

    Thanks, Janie! This sounds like a book I would enjoy.

  2. I’m glad you pointed out that the revelation of the killer is a complete shock – I hate when I’m trying to figure it out all along and then end up being wrong. At least I know that with this book I shouldn’t even try to guess. 🙂

    Thanks for being on this tour – I’m glad that this thriller kept you guessing!

  3. Pingback: Kate White, author of Hush, on tour February 2011 | TLC Book Tours

  4. HUSH is a fabulous book! I wrote an author profile of Kate White for “The Big Thrill” and really loved interviewing her. It was interesting to get a look into her daily life, editor of COSMO, wife and mother, best-selling mystery writer! She’s warm, witty, and very accessible. I can see why HUSH rocketed to the NY Times list. I love her Bailey Weggins books as well, and was happy to see that the series is going on. Kate White rocks!

  5. This sounds like a great book! I would love to be entered for a chance to win!
    bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

  6. I am a GFC follower Angie Dubisher
    bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

  7. I follow networked blogs
    bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

  8. I follow on twitter @bangersis
    bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

  9. I am an email subscriber
    bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

  10. Pam Keener

    Wow the premise of this book sounds inviting.
    Thanks for the review & giveaway.
    Love & Hugs,
    Pam
    pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

  11. Pam Keener

    I follow your blog via GFC/pk4290
    Love & Hugs,
    Pam
    pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

  12. Tiffany D.

    Would LOVE to read this, it sounds so good!! Thanks for the chance 🙂

    jaidahsmommy AT comcast DOT net

  13. Tiffany D.

    I follow on GFC (Tiffany Drew)

    jaidahsmommy AT comcast DOT net

  14. Tiffany D.

    I follow on Facebook Networked Blogs (Tiffany Drew)

    jaidahsmommy AT comcast DOT net

  15. Tiffany D.

    I follow on Twitter (@enterthedrew)

    jaidahsmommy AT comcast DOT net

  16. Linda Kish

    This sounds really good. Count me in, please.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  17. Sounds great!

    Viven
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  18. Stephanie

    Cool giveaway, please enter me.

    Stephanie
    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  19. Pingback: Hush by Kate White |

  20. Great giveaway!!!

    GFC follower

    vidishamun[at]gmail[dot]com

  21. What a fabulous sounding book…
    Please count me in!
    Many thanks, Cindi

  22. I already follow you via Google Friend
    Connect (windycindy)!
    Again, thanks…Cindi

  23. I also follow you via Networked Blogs.
    Merci, Cindi

  24. Email subscriber to Colloquium!
    Thanks bunches…
    Cindi

  25. This book sounds like a very interesting read. I hope I win!

    Thanks.

  26. Judy Cox

    I would love to win this! Thanks for opportunity!!

    Judy
    magnolias_1[at]msn[dot]com

  27. Judy Cox

    I follow you on GFC-judy

    Judy
    magnolias_1[at]msn[dot]com

  28. Judy Cox

    I follow on twitter @ladymagnolia99

    Judy
    magnolias_1[at]msn[dot]com

  29. Judy Cox

    I signed up for email subscription and received confirmed email.

    Judy
    magnolias_1[at]msn[dot]com

  30. I’d like to read this one. Thanks for the chance.

  31. Brenda Rupp

    I’m a follower through GFC. I’m a follower with Google Networked Blogs.
    Would love to win a copy of Hush!
    Am a subscriber!

    dancealert user name!

  32. Thanks to another blog I subscribe to, I found this one. Please enter my name for a chance to win Hush!
    Thank you!

  33. Amanda W

    This book sounds really good! Thanks for the giveaway!

  34. Sounds like a great story that I’d like to read.

    yeloechikee at hotmail dot com

  35. I would love to read this book. Please enter me in the giveaway!

  36. Follow on Facebook NetworkedBlogs (Sarah Emmerson).

    PS. I forgot to list my GFC name in the comment above. It is Sarah E.

  37. I’m following you on Twitter, too 🙂 (@safoga)

  38. Would love to read the twists and turns in this one.

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