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Fortune's Deadly Descent (Celia Hagen)

Audrey Braun

157 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1455886300 / ISBN 13: 9781455886302
Published by Brilliance Audio, 2012
Condition: Good
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Fortune's Deadly Descent (Celia Hagen)

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Publication Date: 2012

Binding: Audio CD

Book Condition:Good

Edition: Unabridged.

About this title

Synopsis:

When novelist Celia Hagen steps away from her train compartment, her seven-year-old adopted son, Benny, vanishes. Police search the train and Saint-Corbenay, the village in the South of France that mother and son were passing through. But there is no sign of Benny. After days of waiting at home for news, a ransom call, something, Celia returns to Saint-Corbenay against the advice of everyone, including her beloved, Benicio. The little town is picturesque, but disturbing rumors abound. As dark secrets emerge, it seems that no one ― not even Benicio or the brooding detective leading the case ― is above suspicion. Celia thought she had seen it all, but nothing could prepare her for where her search will lead. In the follow-up to Audrey Braun’s bestselling debut, A Small Fortune, Celia discovers just how quickly everything she loves can spiral toward a life ― and death ― that no one could have seen coming.

Review:

A Q&A with Audrey Braun

Question: Fortune's Deadly Descent is the follow up to A Small Fortune. What will readers need to know before starting this book?
Audrey Braun: Readers should know that while Fortune's Deadly Descent is the second book in a series, it is also a standalone novel. There is enough allusion to the first book for readers to get a sense of what came before without losing sight of what is happening in the new novel. Having said that, Fortune's Deadly Descent will certainly resonate deeper with readers who are familiar with A Small Fortune. When tiny details trigger knowledge of the story already existing inside the reader's head it's like being in on an inside joke. Inclusion is an extremely satisfying feeling.

Q: The main character, Celia, finds herself at odds with her lover, the law, and a tiny French town filled with secrets when her son Benny is kidnaped. What inspired you this time?
AB: Unlike A Small Fortune, which was inspired by wine, a tasty dinner, and a recession that had my husband and me brainstorming a genre novel I didn't think I'd actually write, Fortune's Deadly Descent was written with intent. At the end of A Small Fortune, a few threads are left dangling. Of course the reader could stop there and leave the rest up to her imagination, but if one were to carry those threads, say, to the south of France where the writer would be forced to travel for research [wink], where all of the senses would be evoked by the rich textures of Provence which would then be infused into the tension of the novel, allowing the reader to experience adventure, sensuality, and heart-pounding suspense in one package, I'd say that closely defines my inspiration for this novel.

Q: Fortunes Deadly Decent is a gripping, fast-pace thriller, but there are so many deeply emotional moments. How do you strike that balance?
AB: This is a very good question. Reading a thriller can sometimes feel like running a marathon. Just one more page, one more, just to get to the end of this chapter, and then ok, the next chapter, and the next, because I can't stop now! While this is exactly the kind of reaction every thriller writer hopes for, it can also be taxing on the reader. It's important to pull back a bit after times of extreme suspense to give the reader a break. That break is the perfect opportunity for the writer to go a little deeper inside the character's emotional core to remind the reader what is at stake. Flawed characters with broken hearts are the ones we love to root for and will follow every crisis they rake us through. Clearly defined vulnerabilities, faults, unmet desires, and regrets, resonate deeply with readers, and when they appear during or shortly after times of heightened danger, they pull the reader further into the story, far more effectively than mere facts of adrenaline rushes, gunshots, and kidnappings.

Q: What writers/books inspire your writing?
AB: Patricia Highsmith. I love The Talented Mr. Ripley for so many reasons, one of which is the strong sense of place. I'm also a huge fan of Benjamin Black, not least because he uses a pen name for his mystery novels and his real name (John Banville) for his literary work, the same way that I do. His protagonist, a coroner named Quirke (perfect) is a flawed old sod who plods through life trying to do the right thing by others as well as to himself. Same goes with Kate Atkinson. I love her writing. Her novels are written in big, sweeping arcs, very literary, and strong on suspense. Harlan Coben, Lisa Unger, and Laura Lippman are also writers I love, and they have influenced my own writing in the sense that each have novels featuring an everyman or everywoman thrown into extraordinary circumstances that they must work their way out of, and in the process discover exactly what they're made of. This rings true for Celia in the Fortune Series. She isn't the detective, doctor, or investigative journalist so often found in thrillers, she's a former editor and now a novelist who has been thrown into a life where she has to learn the skills of an investigator, or sniper, or heck, a marine, in order to survive.

Q: What's next for Celia, will there be a 3rd novel?
AB: Yes. I don't want to say too much about the plot as it's still very new, but I will say the 3rd installment of Celia's adventures takes place in Berlin, which has become the new "it" city of Europe. It is bustling with tourists and expats, the arts thriving, the rents miraculously cheaper than any other large European city at the moment. I think this makes for a fascinating backdrop for the 3rd and yes, final story of Celia's life.

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