by Madeleine Brent
When I first started The Long Masquerade, I felt sure that I had read it long long ago. But now that I’m finished I’m not so sure. The first part seemed vaguely familiar, but that was probably because it is so similar to the beginnings of her other novels. The bells it was ringing in my memory got fainter and fainter as the book went on. I could not figure out who her love interest was going to be until about the 70% mark. I was pretty sure it would be one guy, because it would have followed the pattern set in all of her previous novels. Trying to avoid spoilers here. But I got to be as impatient with the character as Casey, our heroine, was. I hoped it would turn out to be the other guy. Other than that break from her usual pattern, The Long Masquerade will hold no surprises for the Madeleine Brent devotee. Adventure, mystery, and lovable characters abound, and you will wonder why you are so enthralled, when all of her books follow the same template. It’s “her” writing, and her signature template, though pretty much unchanged throughout her novels, stands out so from other authors. Only the names and settings change. I will say that one of the twists, I did not see coming, but I had the other one I figured out from the beginning. When we finally reach the last page, we have not one or two, but four happy endings! Sigh.
Trigger warnings: domestic abuse kept thankfully very vague, and some unfortunate racial terms used towards the end. ***4 1/2 stars out of 5***
January 14, 2019