Book Title: Fool Her Once (A Novel) by Joanna Elm
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 416 pages
Publisher: CamCat Books
Release date: Feb, 2023
Content Rating: PG-13 + M. There's adultery, language, some sexual content, and violent crime, but no explicit descriptions of the crimes.
Some killers are born. Others are made.
As a rookie tabloid reporter, Jenna Sinclair made a tragic mistake when she outed Denny Dennison, the illegitimate son of an executed serial killer. So she hid behind her marriage and motherhood. Now, decades later, betrayed by her husband and resented by her teenage daughter, Jenna decides to resurrect her career—and returns to the city she loves.
When her former lover is brutally assaulted outside Jenna’s NYC apartment building, Jenna suspects that Denny has inherited his father’s psychopath gene and is out for revenge. She knows she must track him down before he can harm his next target, her daughter.
Meanwhile, her estranged husband, Zack, fears that her investigative reporting skills will unearth his own devastating secret he’d kept buried in the past.
From New York City to the remote North Fork of Long Island and the murky waters surrounding it, Jenna rushes to uncover the terrible truth about a psychopath and realizes her own investigation may save or destroy her family.
Review: Jenna Sinclair was a soon-to-be divorced mother and sought-after reporter. Soon after spending the evening with an old flame, Jenna is questioned by the police about his “accident.” Could she have caused him to end up in the hospital? Or was it someone else?
The cold thought hit her hard: Could this possibly be the revenge of a serial killer’s son for an exposé she wrote many years ago?
Story shifts between the present and the past, relaying the events that may have led to the cataclysmic state of her situation. Jenna traces back to that old exposé that ruined a family so many years ago—the one that killed a whole family. That article ruined every chance the man had for a family. Now it seemed that the evil man’s spawn was stalking her.
Even though the mystery lurked in the background of this story like a creepy shadow, it was still compelling from the beginning. At first, it mostly details Jenna’s marriage, the problems with her daughter, and the article that may have set the perilous things in motion. The narrative naturally draws you in for the most part, but it can be a little slow at times, detailing the minutiae of the day-to-day stuff. To be honest, this was kind of long at 65 chapters and 500 pages. After a while, it gets a little daunting in some areas.
Needless to say, Jenna was on a mission to find the spawn, Denny Dennison. The further you read, the more you realize that people close to Jenna have been keeping secrets, particularly Jack King, her husband and father of her child. Talk about a whopper of a secret with that guy.
Meanwhile, Jenna’s more insistent than ever to find Denny Dennison to put this whole thing behind her and get on with her life. However, the casualties were piling up—an attack, a disappearance, and a murder. How would all these pieces tie together? And will Jenna find out the truth to all this? How many times can you fool her?
Full of mystery and intrigue, this book was just too good to put down. You just had to find out what happened. It truly was an addicting read!
Rating: 4 stars
Joanna Elm is an author, journalist, blogger, and attorney. Before the publication of her first two suspense novels (Scandal, Tor/Forge 1996); (Delusion, Tor/Forge/1997), she was an investigative journalist on the London Evening News on Fleet Street in the U.K. She also wrote for British magazines like Woman’s Own.
Then, she moved to New York where she worked as a writer/producer for television news and tabloid TV programs like "A Current Affair." She was also the researcher/writer for WNEW-TV’s Emmy-award-winning documentary "Irish Eyes." In 1980, she joined the Star as a reporter, eventually becoming the magazine’s news editor and managing editor before moving to Philadelphia as editor of the news/features section of TV Guide.
After completing her first two novels while living in South Florida, (Nelson DeMille described Scandal as “fresh, original and unpredictable”) Joanna returned to New York, enrolled in law school, graduated summa cum laude, passed the NY Bar exam, and worked as a principal law clerk for an appellate division justice in the prestigious First Department. She has been married to her husband Joe for 35 years and has one son.
connect with the author: website ~ instagram ~ twitter ~ bookbub ~ goodreads
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