This is not a Richard North Patterson book. At least not the type of book we’ve come to expect from him, thrillers full of mystery and intrigue. Instead, it is a coming-of-age story, a prequel to Fall from Grace, which details the lives of Whitney Dane, a socialite summering on Martha’s Vineyard and preparing for her upcoming nuptials, and Benjamin Blaine, the dead body around which the story in Fall from Grace centers, during the tumultuous summer of 1968.
Whitney is looking forward to a typical summer on the island preparing for her proper wedding to Peter when she meets Benjamin Blaine, a college dropout who was working for Robert Kennedy prior to his assassination. Her parents and her fiancé are not supportive of her friendship with this rogue, but she persists, while denying any attraction she may feel for him. As she struggles to figure out what she truly feels and believes, and what that means to her future, she faces a betrayal that will change everything she thought she knew.
While it was not at all what I expected, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although a bit stereotypical, the characters were interesting. Set against the backdrop of the times, with political upheaval, assassinations, and the draft, this family drama was engrossing. This book is purported to be the second in a planned trilogy and I am looking forward to seeing where he goes with the final book.
Title: Loss of Innocence
Author: Richard North Patterson
Publication: Quercus, October 2013
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