Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TLC Book Tours: Playing Dead by Julia Heaberlin

Heaberlin debut thriller
Playing Dead by Julia Heaberlin

“Dear Tommie: Have you ever wondered about who you are?” 
The letter that turns Tommie McCloud’s world upside down arrives from a stranger only days after her father’s death. The woman who wrote it claims that Tommie is her daughter—and that she was kidnapped as a baby thirty-one years ago.
Tommie wants to believe it’s all a hoax, but suddenly a girl who grew up on a Texas ranch finds herself  linked to a horrific past: the slaughter of a family in Chicago, the murder of an Oklahoma beauty queen, and the kidnapping of a little girl named Adriana. Tommie races along a twisting, nightmarish path while an unseen stalker is determined to keep old secrets locked inside the dementia-battered brain of the woman who Tommie always thought was her real mother. With everything she has ever believed in question, and no one she can trust, Tommie must discover the truth about the girl who vanished—and the very real threats that still remain.  

I wasn't quite sure what I was in for when I began reading Playing Dead.  Right away, I found myself engaged in the story.  Pages just seemed to flip themselves as Tommie began to unravel the secrets her parents were keeping from her.  I told myself, "just one more chapter", and continuing  to read about five or six more.

What kept me connected to the story was Tommie.  I'm starting to realize I enjoy novels with a flawed protagonist and he/she knows this, but yet continues to keep moving forward despite of it.  Tommie's life didn't turn out as she had hoped as a little girl.  Despite her resentment, regret and questions of "what if?", she has made a new life for herself.

Tommie is a complicated character, but yet I found myself liking her more and more as the story progressed.  She's very guarded and self-reliant, however she's extremely protective of her family.  Deep down she feels no matter what she learns about her true identity, her sister and niece will always come first.

The mysterious letter Tommie receives is the catalyst that springs the mystery forward.  Is it possible she's the daughter of a Mafia boss?  And what role does her mother play in all this?  How could the man she considered to be her father lie to her all these years?  Heaberlin did an excellent job with giving the reader enough clues to begin to solve the mystery, while including twists and turns to make you second guess your theory.  Which makes a mystery a good one, in my opinion.  Recommended.

Book Details:
ISBN: 9780345527011
Pub. Date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages:  452
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Source: TLC Book Tours

Connect with the Author:

Playing Dead TLC Tour Stops:
Monday, June 18th:  Marybeth Whalen
Tuesday, June 19th:  Life in Review
Wednesday, June 20th:  Me, My Book, and the Couch
Friday, June 22nd:  A Novel Source
Monday, June 25th:  Jen’s Book Thoughts
Thursday, June 28th:  Quirky Bookworm
Monday, July 2nd:  Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Thursday, July 5th:  Jenn’s Bookshelves
Monday, July 9th:  Twisting the Lens
Wednesday, July 11th:  Reviews by Elizabeth A. White
Friday, July 13th:  Luxury Reading
Monday, July 16th:  “That’s Swell!”
Wednesday, July 18th:  Broken Teepee

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