With his first wife, Rebekah, dead, Max Winter brings another young woman to Asherley.
"Last night Rebekah tried to murder me again." With that close echo of one of the most famous opening lines in literature, Gabriele (The Almost Archer Sisters, 2008) pulls back the curtain on her update of Daphne Du Maurier's 1938 classic, Rebecca. Manderley in Cornwall becomes an opulent estate called Asherley, on Long Island; the nameless heroine's nemesis is not a resentful housekeeper named Mrs. Danvers but a prospective 15-year-old stepdaughter named Dani; Rebekah has died in a fiery car crash rather than by drowning. But water remains an important factor. When she first meets millionaire New York State senator Max Winter, our orphaned, naïve, and hardworking heroine is living on Grand Cayman, where she is employed by "one of the richest women in the Caribbean," the owner of boat charter companies all over the islands. Some of the more amusing lines in the book are the narrator's representation of her boss's Australian accent: "Oym an idiot for baying sore ginerous. Oy aughta foyer you both." Though celebrity client Max Winter is old enough to be the narrator's father and she believes herself hopelessly plain and uninteresting, the two are launched almost instantly into a smokin' hot affair that soon enough leads to a diamond ring and a return to Asherley. There, she must contend with the specter of Rebekah, the woman who nabbed Max the first time around and who has left behind her unbelievably bitchy and precocious daughter. Dani texts her father as soon as she gets word of the new relationship: if you bring ur fucking fling home daddy ill kill myself. Just wait till you get a load of the kid's 31,000 follower Instagram account.
A harmless parlor game of a book but a little lacking in the skin-crawling suspense department.