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The Naked Room was one of my best surprise reads this year. Diana Hockley has created a fast paced page-turning thriller with as many twists and turns and ups and downs as playing snakes and ladders on a roller coaster.
Who would imagine that a plot based around the players in a Symphony Orchestra would make for a great thriller. This tight knit group of people quickly get ensnared when the orchestra's talented young solo pianist, Ally Carpenter, disappears.
We are introduced to Detective Sergeant Susan Prescott who realises that it is a race against time to find the young musician, who may have been kidnapped and be in mortal danger. The story swirls around the love affairs and both the good and strained friendships within Ally's family, close friends and musical collegues. The Carpenter family's long kept secrets are central to the plot and slowly get exposed and tested.
I thoroughly recommend this book as an easy but challenging story to keep your interest through to the end. It is extremely well written as Diana unfolds the story like peeling an orange to find a new unexpected slice under the skin. I really liked her use of mostly first person chapters which leave you in suspense at the end of each chapter as the plot moves to another person or time.
I am looking forward to reading Diana's next book, The Celibate Mouse, which also features Detective Sergeant Susan Prescott. I am on tenterhooks to find out the story behind the title - especially as Diana tells us in her author blurb that she used to run a Mouse Circus. The mind boggles! A search of You Tube for "mouse circus australia" will give you an insight into this amazing carnival type act.