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REVIEW: ‘The Lola Quartet’ is another gem by Emily St. John Mandel
Review by Michelle Simon

Emily MandelEmily St. John Mandel (pictured) is back with a third novel and, in a development that will surprise nobody, “The Lola Quartet” features a protagonist who is in search of an identity – a theme running through her prior novels novels, “Last Night in Montreal” and “The Singer’s Gun.”

This time we’ve got Gavin Sasaki, who has been fired from his newspaper job that he loved for misconduct. He retreats to a small town in Florida to live with his older sister and sell real estate.

Through a series of flashbacks from high school, we learn about Gavin’s high school sweetheart, Anna, who mysteriously disappeared before graduating never to be heard from again.

Ten years later, Gavin’s sister spots a young child at an abandoned house who has an uncanny resemblance to her brother. Anna is on the run from a meth dealer she stole thousands of dollars from. Eventually, he catches up to her.

With an eclectic cast of characters, Emily St. John Mandel weaves a tale of mystery about one’s sense of identity in her third novel.  Music, especially jazz, is one of the center themes of the book.

More than her prior novels, The Lola Quartet has a plotline that resembles the suspense genre. Unlike genre novels, Mandel resolves her story without cliché showdowns and gimmicks. Instead, she fastidiously blends character depth with elements we associate with crime fiction.

Scale: 5 stars: Incredible!... 4 stars: Excellent... 3 stars: Good... 2 stars: Mediocre... 1 star: Lame!

Rating: 5 stars

For more information about Unbridled Books and its authors check out their website. The Lola Quartet is available now at bookstores across the USA as well as at Amazon and other online retailers.


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