Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pretending to be Erica by Michelle Painchaud

For years Sal has been grooming Violet for the ultimate con - pretending to be Erica Silverman, who was snatched as a child from Las Vegas.  She has been groomed, trained, and physically altered to look like the real Erica.  Any con is dangerous with a missing person because you never know when the real person may turn up, but Sal and Violet are safe because they know for certain that Erica is dead.  With the help of some slight of hand and careful planning Violet has spent the last few weeks posing as Erica, a con that will test her ability to keep the con going for the long run.  

There have been Erica's before, and both of them were weeded out quickly, but Mrs. Silverman has latched onto Violet - believing the lie.  The goal is clear and simple, crack the code for the safe and steal the painting from the vault.  It should be easy for Violet, all she has to do is let Erica do the talking and bide her time until she can make the grab - but somehow Erica is bleeding into Violet and Violet is bleeding into Erica making for a very complicated mess.  The longer the con goes on for the harder it is for Violet to keep control of Erica, and the more time she spends as Erica the more she realises what she has missed out on all these years.  As the con moves on Violet finds herself losing control and losing focus - but is that such a bad thing?

I wasn't sure what to expect with Pretending to be Erica, I mostly picked it up because of the interesting blurb and because my name happens to be Erika.  What I found was a book that keeps you guessing about what comes next and leads you towards having a surprising amount of sympathy for Violet/Erica.  Violet/Erica could easily have become a cardboard cut out of the 'bad guy' but she was instead a complex character that you slowly come to understand as the story develops, and as you learn more about her story that level of sympathy grows.  I was prepared to dislike Violet/Erica and her cruel con but in the end I didn't dislike her at all - I wanted to know what happens next!

This is a book well worth a read and hopefully there are many more to come from Michelle Painchaud as she has a deft touch for developing characters and kept her story moving at a good pace without sacrificing any part of the story or character and relationship building.  A great read for fans of real life reads, crime capers, and books about discovering yourself and what really matters to you.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

No comments:

Post a Comment