THE LULLABY GIRL (Angie Pallorino #2) by Loreth Anne White-Review, Interview & Giveaway
THE LULLABY GIRL
Angie Pallorino #2
by Loreth Anne White
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, murder, mystery, suspense
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date November 14, 2017
Detective Angie Pallorino took down a serial killer permanently and, according to her superiors, with excessive force. Benched on a desk assignment for twelve months, Angie struggles to maintain her sense of identity—if she’s not a detective, who is she? Then a decades-old cold case washes ashore, pulling her into an investigation she recognizes as deeply personal.
Angie’s lover and partner, James Maddocks, sees it, too. But spearheading an ongoing probe into a sex-trafficking ring and keeping Angie’s increasing obsession with her case in check is taking its toll. However, as startling connections between the parallel investigations emerge, Maddocks realizes he has more than Angie’s emotional state to worry about.
Driven and desperate to solve her case, Angie goes rogue, risking her relationship, career, and very life in pursuit of answers. She’ll learn that some truths are too painful to bear, and some sacrifices include collateral damage.
But Angie Pallorino won’t let it go. She can’t. It’s not in her blood.
REVIEW: THE LULLABY GIRL is the second instalment in Loreth Anne White’s contemporary, adult ANGIE PALLORINO murder/mystery/suspense series focusing on Vancouver Police Department sex crimes Detective Angie Pallorino, and her partner/lover Detective Sergeant James Maddocks. THE LULLABY GIRL can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary but I recommend reading the series in order for backstory and cohesion.
Told from several third person perspectives including Angie and James THE LULLABY GIRL picks up immediately after the events of book one-The Drowned Girls-in which Angie Pallorino discovered that the life she lived has been based on a lie. Our heroine has recently been demoted and assigned desk duty in the face of violent take-down that was deemed excessive and unnecessary. Now with time on her hands, Angie begins a personal investigation into a thirty-year old cold case that will alter her life in more ways than one. Going rogue, and without the help of the man that she loves, Angie will come face to face with her past-a deadly encounter meant to end her life-a second time around.
Meanwhile, James Maddocks investigation into a sex-trafficking ring has caught the attention of the FBI and Canada’s RCMP. Partnering with the elite forces James will discover similarities between his case, and the one Angie has been investigating; and a potential showdown with the people in charge places Angie in the direct line of fire as she inserts herself where she doesn’t belong.
THE LULLABY GIRL is a story of betrayal and revenge, of power and control. The imagery and descriptive nature of the story line is dramatic and realistic. The emotional fall out is palpable and intense; the suspense is riveting and powerful. Loreth Anne White’s attention to detail is brilliant; the character development and world building is phenomenal; the energy and passion inspiring; the delivery fluent and artistic- a movie for the mind.
Reading Order and Previous Reviews
The Drowned Girls
The Lullaby Girl
Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley
Reviewed by Sandy
TRC: Hi Loreth and welcome to The Reading Café.
Congratulations on the recent release of THE LULLABY GIRL.We would like to start with some background information.
Would you please tell us something about yourself?
Loreth: Thank you for having me here! I’m excited to share Book 2 in my Angie Pallorino series with everyone. I’m a South-African-born-and-raised Canadian who lives in the stunning but wet, cold, and grey mountains of the Pacific Northwest. While it’s chocolate-box beautiful I miss blue African skies and sunshine and the wild ocean like a small hole in my soul. Like most writers, I’ve always loved books and stories. I’m a wife, a mother, a pet and nature lover, and weather influences my moods far more than it probably should.
TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?
Loreth: I’ve been lucky to have been surrounded by people who fed me books and stories from a very young age. From my Dutch grandfather, to my mother and father, my English teachers at school, my lecturers at university. Over the years these people all kept opening doors with secret keys to worlds of imagination.
TRC: What challenges or difficulties have you encountered writing and publishing your stories?
Loreth: Early on, when I first seriously sat down to write a novel, I was still working as a journalist. By far the most challenging hurdle was to come home after a day of overtime, deadlines, and solid writing at work, and then to try and write even more at night and over weekends while still balancing family commitments. Also, at that time, my girls were young, we were new immigrants who lived in a very small space. Our jobs were insecure, and I had no writing corner I could truly call my own—I wrote at a tiny table in our bedroom for the most part, where I could hear the noisy neighbours through the thin condo walls. Writing a novel, in some respects, seemed a ludicrous idea at the time. But I managed to sell that first one to New York, and while many more challenges lay ahead–and still do—it’s a journey I am pleased I started, and it’s a road I am happy to travel.
TRC: Would you please tell us something about the premise of THE LULLABY GIRL and the Angie Pallorino series?
Loreth: My Detective Angie Pallorino starts out in The Drowned Girls working sex crimes. It’s her wheelhouse. She’s good at it, and fiercely-driven to do it for reasons she doesn’t fully understand at the start of the series. By the end of that first book Angie has taken down a serial killer, permanently, and according to her superiors, with excessive force. Now, in The Lullaby Girl, Angie is forced back into uniform and she’s been benched on a desk assignment for 12 months. This challenges Angie in every way possible—if she’s not a detective, who is she? Then a decades-old cold case washes ashore, and Angie is pulled into an investigation she recognizes as deeply, frighteningly, personal. It could be a key to her past.
Driven and desperate to solve her own cold case in spite of her probation, Angie goes rogue, risking her relationship with Detective Maddocks, her career, and her very life in pursuit of the answers to her origins. But Angie will learn that some truths might be too painful to bear, and some sacrifices include collateral damage. And she’ll have to make some hard choices.
TRC: What type of research/plotting do you do, and how long do you spend researching /plotting before beginning a book?
Loreth: It depends on the story. I read non-fiction books, biographies, watch videos, movies, interview experts, do courses, and attend workshops. For example, for my Angie series, I read text books written for cops on how to investigate various kinds of homicides and crimes. I’ve done workshops conducted by law enforcement personnel, spoken with cops, and attended events like the wonderful Writers Police Academy that comes complete with hands-on weapons experience. And of course, there’s the writing craft aspect as well—for that, also courses, workshops, and better than anything—reading other novels in the genre.
TRC: How do you keep the plot(s) unpredictable without sacrificing content and believeability?
Loreth: I can only hope the plots are unpredictable while still delivering on genre expectations! I think the key is to develop rich characters who have their own unique takes on a plot situation, and to allow a unique setting to become character as well. Combined with one’s own voice and one’s own world view, hopefully the result is something fresh.
TRC: How did publishing your first book change your writing process?
Loreth: Hah! My editors and reviewers and readers all began to sit on my shoulder as I wrote. They’d jeer and point at the screen and yell: no, no ways can you do that! Oh no, that sucks, that’s silly!! …. I still struggle to shut them out and let my ‘girls in the basement’ loose–in private–on the first draft.
TRC: What was your hardest scene –ever-to write?
Loreth: I can’t think that there was any one scene particularly harder to write over any other. I do however find sex scenes challenging to craft because they need to deliver so much in a romance novel, in terms of not being gratuitous, in showing real character development, in driving the plot forward, and in still complicating or ramping up the suspense element of a romantic suspense.
TRC: Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?
TRC: When writing a story line, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?
Loreth: They go hand-in-hand as the story develops.
TRC: How do you select the names of your characters?
Loreth: I do think about marketing and back cover copy when I consider names. I think about what might resonate with readers, and how some names might put readers off reading a story. Also, I try limit names starting with the same letter, or ones that sound too similar. And then I consider the sound of the name itself and try to match it to character. For example, for a certain kind of hero, or villain, one might want a harsher, or shorter sounding word. Or maybe something softer for a female character. Or, if she’s bad-ass, maybe certain names could undermine that tough quality. Then … at the final stage, an editor might still ask you to change a name! This happened to me with my book A Dark Lure. Cole, my hero, was initially named Hunter, and I was (rightly) asked to change this because of the hunting theme and metaphors already playing strongly through the novel. But to this day, when I get reader letters that mention Cole, I scratch my head thinking, who in the hell is Cole!? (to me, he’s still Hunter 🙂
TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the story line so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?
Loreth: This is a big craft question! Bottom line, I think the key is to have real-time, blow-by-blow beats occurring in a scene–without summarizing–in order to make readers feel right there, part of the unfolding events. The summarizing–or introspection or ‘telling’–works better in the sequels that bridge the real-time scenes. It also helps to decide on who the focal character in each scene will be, and what his or her scene goal is. This goal, ideally, should be apparent to the reader at the outset, and the blows should come as that goal is obstructed beat-by-beat throughout that scene—either via dialogue/argument, events, or physical action. And at the end of that scene, that focal character should have arrived at a new direction, a next scene goal in mind.
TRC: Do you listen to music while writing? If so, does the style of music influence the storyline direction? Characters?
Loreth: I used to. Now I prefer quiet. But I do listen to music in between, or before writing, to set mood/tone. And yes, I pick music I think might help amplify the tone I am seeking.
TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception people have about authors?
Loreth: That authors enjoy writing!
TRC: What is something that few, if anybody, knows about you?
Loreth: Ooh, I don’t know … I was a competitive swimmer and once eyed by coaches as a potential Olympic hopeful. I still love long-distance, open-water swimming and have trained in the past with guys like Lewis Pugh who have crossed the English Channel and who swim the most extreme polar ends of the earth. I enjoy cooking, but not baking. I cannot sing to save my life but wish I could. I don’t like ice cream.
TRC: On what are you currently working?
Loreth: Right now I’m tackling a project that is challenging me in new ways. It requires more research than I’ve ever done. There is an epic romance at the core—a love triangle–where my characters face impossible choices against extraordinary circumstances. And there’s a mystery. It’s something that is really pushing me beyond my traditional comfort zone. Which is both a good thing and scary! I’m terribly excited about it so far, but the perennial writerly struggle remains: Will I ever be able to meet my own vision for this idea? Perhaps not. But as my mother-in-law used to say: if you aim for the star you might hit the top of the tree. Heh. So I’m trying.
● Favorite Food – cheese!
● Favorite Dessert – more cheese! (and dark chocolate and espresso coffee)
● Favorite TV Show – too many to name, but at the moment I am hooked on several great Nordic noir-ish crime series, and UK and other European crime shows.
● Last Movie You Saw – Victoria and Abdul
● Dark or Milk Chocolate – definitely dark and fine and bitter
● Secret Celebrity Crush – I love Helen Mirren, Judy Dench, Emma Thompson – all wonderful celebrity role models who show women both young and old that females can age with ferocity and grace and embrace the wisdom acquired over years on this earth, and who are not shy of the wrinkles that come with that hard-won place.
● Last Vacation Destination – Australia
● Do you have any pets? – Hudson and Brunswick, my black labradog and my orange cat, and some wild birds who flap outside my window to be hand fed.
● Last book you read – Love In The Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
TRC: Thank you Loreth for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of THE LULLABY GIRL. We wish you all the best.
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