Speak to Our Desires by Brenda W Clough

4 stars


“When I say I’m a private investigator, you might think James Bond or Sherlock Holmes.  You shouldn’t.  But sometimes life insists on imitating art…”

There!  That’s the beginning of the book – it’s the opener to the day when a beautiful young woman walked into the office of Tim Oates’ office.  Tim, short for Latimer, is a private investigator who has had a string of bad luck with women but when Ellie ‘Eléonore’ Quartren appeared in his office, he was falling yet once again.

Ellie is a runaway – she left her mother and now, wishing to see her, could not find her.  She has come to hire an investigator to find her mother, Ruby Quartern.  Ellie’s background and strange relationship with her mother formed who she is now.  Who she is now is someone utterly lost and lonely.

Is it wise to mix business and pleasure?  Will Ellie finally be able to trust someone?

The book is told from Tim’s point of view however in alternating chapters of the ‘now’ and the ‘past’ of which Tim is listening to Ellie shared her past with him.  Sometimes, I found this alternating chapter’s arrangement a little disconcerting despite the author’s effort to set it up from the prior chapters.

Speak to Our Desires is a mysterious novel with a pinch of the mystique and a thriller ending. Was it a good ending?  Oh, yes, cleverly done – completely unexpected.  Do I like the ending?  Um, I’m not quite sure as the rest of the novel did not read like a thriller and I don’t quite appreciate being ‘jumped upon’ as such.  Nonetheless, I look forward to checking out her other works, this book being the first I’ve read.

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