Published: 31st August 2016
Author: Zoe Kalo
(TWO GRAVES is a short novella, about 70 pages. It is volume #1 in Zoe Kalo’s psychological suspense “Retribution” series of standalone novellas centered on the theme of revenge and a famous work of literature, in this case Dante’s Inferno.)
A Dante-ish descent through a sinister world of decadent shadows and woeful souls…
Seven years ago, he shattered her life. The town eventually forgot the headlines and the nightmares. But 23-year old music student Angelica hasn’t forgotten.
For the past seven years, she’s contemplated payback with as much intensity and unwavering faith as she puts into her violin playing. Finally, all the pieces are in place. Over the course of one night, disguised for a masquerade ball, Angelica orchestrates a journey of revenge.
“Want to know my recipe for courage?” I said, barely above a whisper. “Welcome death. When you welcome death, there’s nothing to lose. When there’s nothing to lose, there’s no fear.”
Wasn’t sure what to really expect from this one but man alive from the moment I started I was gripped. A suspenseful thriller that draws you in and holds you right until the end – well for me anyway.
The story is told in two parts running alongside each other with Angelica being the key link. Present day you know she is a violinist playing at a concert, preparing to go to a masked ball after it. From the start you know she wants revenge and answers for something but are kept in the dark until near the end at a point in the book where nothing would get you to stop reading. The Maestro seems to be her focus but that doesn’t stop other characters being pulled into focus when the need arises.
The past is seven years previous where she lived with her mother and Shaun, who we later find out is her little boy. A cutie you want to wrap up to keep safe. She is focusing on an audition she has coming up to get into Julliard. If she can get that it could see her way to start a great career and be able to take care of Shaun better. Each memory we are shown shows the same day progressing. Bringing us that much closer to understanding what she needs revenge for.
At times in the present day she feels lost or at odds with what she plans to do. She has a gun and at the start of the evening has every intention of using it, but with outside forces seemingly pulling the strings is her game of revenge about to be over? Was she ever really in control? The moment she entered that mansion it was like she stepped in to the devils home. She’s falling down the rabbit hole into the abyss unless she can find a safe way out – that’s if she really wants it.
An enticing story and even though it was short it still had the ability to hold your attention. It didn’t need to be longer as the suspense was there. Characters were strong and well rounded in this dark delight – a psychological thriller at its best. Almost feel like you should listen to the music mentioned while reading to give you that extra kick of mystery and power behind the dialogue. Dante’s Inferno is mentioned a lot throughout though and as I haven’t read it in places I was a little confused. Its best to just to with the flow with this one and let it take you where it wants you to go, follow the music to lead you to the answers you seek.
4 out of 5 stars
I received this ARC from Authors Assistant for my honest review.