Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a thriller by Charlie Donlea called Twenty Years Later – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Before we begin, I will be placing a trigger warning on this book for general violence and crime scene related content. Now, let’s get to it:
Avery Mason is the host of the wildly popular American Events, which discusses everything from true crime and safety tips to inspirational tales of bravery and every day heroes. She rose to fame quickly – mainly because no one knows her true identity of Claire Montgomery. She is the daughter to the infamous man who schemed a lot of people out of a lot of money by making investments in his company and he is still at large.
While on summer break from her show, Avery makes the cross country trek from California to New York to chase a story. She also has unfinished family business to tend to and knows her new lead will be the perfect cover up. And the story she’s investigating is a big one. Twenty years after 9/11, a positive ID has been found of one of the victims through new DNA testing and her name is Victoria Ford.
Originally, Avery thinks she hit the jackpot with this lead but it got even better when she dug deeper and found that Victoria was a suspect in a murder case. In fact, she was getting advice from her lawyer when the planes crashed as she would shortly be on trial for the murder of her lover, a married man named Cameron Young.
Avery wants to know everything about this case and seeks out the help of Walt Jenkins, who was the detective on this twenty year old case. Walt has been a recluse since he was asked to retire after a tragic incident on the job. When his old boss asks Walt to help Avery to see if he can learn more information about her father, Walt accepts. He is desperate to feel useful again and hops a plane to New York City.
As Avery and Walt delve back into the twenty year old murder case, new leads develop as well as feelings between the two of them. Walt, of course, is feeling very conflicted by now because he has to choose between doing his job or the new woman in his life. What will Walt’s decision be? And will they crack the case of Victoria Ford as a guilty or innocent woman? Read Twenty Years Later to find out!
Twenty Years Later was a pretty good read but it wasn’t my favorite. The writing of Charlie Donlea didn’t blow me away and at times it felt a bit amateur-ish but the story line did keep me hooked. My husband and I are both avid true crime fans so the idea of trying to solve a twenty year old case was an exciting one. I finished this book in about five sittings and, although I figured out a majority of the big twists, I still liked it well enough.
I enjoyed Avery as a main character because she was really smart and made a great life for herself despite who she has as a father. She was strong and brave and her back and forth with Walt worked really well too. Avery took the lead in all aspects of her life and she was a “take no shit” kind of gal, which I love!
My main qualm with Twenty Years Later was how repetitive it was. I swear, I must have read the same sentences or something similar in this book countless times and this got old super quickly. It was also fairly predictable, which is okay with me if the writing is excellent but that wasn’t the case.
I am going to rate Twenty Years Later with a six out of ten stars. The plot was interesting and I enjoyed reading about most of the characters. If it were written just a bit better, it probably would have gotten a higher rating but that was hard to look past. This is a book that you can take or leave. If you read it, you won’t hate it but if you don’t, you’re not missing out on much.
What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah