Title: A Tale of Three Cities
Author: Alexander McCabe
Release Date: November 2, 2015
Advanced Review Copy Edition
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*
“A Tale of Three Cities” is an amazing story involving two women who do not intimately know each other, but whose lives become connected in a horrific span of events that is sure to leave both women changed forever. While occupying the waiting room of a dental office, bank cashier Melissa Chisholm is reading a magazine when her attention is snagged by a missing persons headline accompanied by a photograph of a woman she is sure she knows. Enticed by the million dollar reward for any information in regard to a Kristy Bradley, Melissa sets out to redeem the much needed cash, being reassured that she does in fact know the woman who changed her name to Lady Penelope Munro. According to the article, the two love birds married out of High School and settled into a financially stable and happy life before Kristy was allegedly kidnapped by Anthony Di Silva, a mob boss masquerading as CEO of a Waste Management Company and currently serving 25 to life after 34 million dollars and Michael’s wife went missing. Now Melissa is flying from Glasgow Scotland to Harrison New York on a quest to assist Kristy’s poor husband in finding his long lost wife.
Sitting in her car outside of Michael’s front door, Melissa is unaware of the man behind the smile in the magazine. As she waits nervously for him to read the documents she slipped into his home and to listen to her message on his answering machine, she has no idea of the maniac she has just involved herself with. As she waits, watching Michael faint at the documents contents with streams of tears colliding down his face, Melissa doesn’t know about the secret hatred more so than love pulsating through his veins. When his true character is revealed, it made me think about the stigmas that still exist surrounding a woman’s submission, what it means to submit and how abusive men take advantage of women who do. Nonetheless, as Melissa waits, it will be a hard lesson for her in the end.
Meanwhile, in Invernesshire, Scotland, Zacchaeus is torn between his love for his girlfriend Penny and the anxiety of her acceptance of that love. Having inherited the large Auchtershinnan Estate, she’s a woman who is certainly in no need of financial assistance from a man and though they occupy their dream home and live a dream life, Z doesn’t know how to feel about this and wonders if the fortune diminishes his wife’s dependability on his authority as head of the household. Having invited his parents over to their castle of a home as a surprise to Z, Penny is a confident woman who may not need him as much as he would like to be needed while his mother advises that he should do away with his feelings concerning the outdated gender roles. But Z’s struggle with finances and gender roles will later become the least of his worries when Andy, the estate’s caretaker, comes barging through his bedroom door. To Z’s confusion, Andy reports to the couple that “THEY are here” and urges Penny and Z to dress quickly. As Penny cries her eyes out in the sheets only once drenched with passionate lovemaking, Z cannot understand what has happened to the beautiful moment just seconds passed, who THEY are or why Andy has just called his girlfriend Kristy.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I was not too excited when I discovered this book was 500 pages long and the cover did not excite me much either. However, McCabe has written an adventurous tale that will engage all of your senses. His attention to detail is remarkable and I found Z’s sense of humor hilarious at times. Not that his jokes were even that funny but the fact that they weren’t somehow made it funnier. Because of Z, I am now cautious of my usage of the word “however” when I can really just say “But”. On a serious note, I also enjoyed how the author displays Michael’s deranged demeanor against Melissa’s sympathy for his loss. Having lost her parents in a car wreck years ago, her loss drives the naivety and compassion she feels for a man who has seemingly, like her, lost everything. I also enjoyed the parallels between Melissa’s life and Kristy’s and like a single thread that weaves fabric together, the dynamics involving the two women brings it all in.
This book has a lot going on but I really like how the author tied everything together and it is a testament to his skill. What I enjoyed most is the similarities and comparisons he created between the characters which gave it a “six degrees of separation” type feel to it (that is everyone being connected somehow). No one in this story is insignificant to the plot. From the prominent characters we are immediately introduced to, to the police officer on the street, they all play a role in bringing it all together.
A Tale of Three Cities releases November 2, 2015. Please visit Alexander at his social networking sites and be sure to pick up this book! It is a must read. Though I read it already, I would love to still purchase the paperback for my collection when it releases.