In the Books featuring Illusion by Laura Deluca.

Good morning and welcome to this week’s In the Books, featuring Illusion (Dark Musicals: The Second Act Book 1) by Laura Deluca.

Laura deluca

About the Book: Rebecca Hope-Patko and her husband, Lord Justyn, are living their dream. After a successful stint on Broadway, the super couple are heading Down Under for a special showing of Phantom Returns, where their son Erik will join them for his professional debut.

As soon as their plane touches down, they discover that a serial killer is stalking Melbourne. At the theater, a strange series of accidents leaves Rebecca fearing for the safety of her family. Rebecca struggles to unravel the mystery while coping with insecurities about her career which cause tension between her and Justyn.

It’s clear a very real Phantom is lurking among them, but Rebecca is no kid anymore. She’s tired of the villain getting the upper hand. This time, Rebecca is setting the trap. This opera diva will put her life and her marriage on the line to shatter the illusions surrounding Queen’s Theater and stop the serial killer before they can strike again.

My Review: Over the years, I’ve become a fan of Laura Deluca, and this is her biggest book I’ve read yet, but the added size only added to the story.

The story flowed well and was hard to put down, but an added benefit was the style it was written in. I enjoy the occasional musical, and throughout the story, the cast would break into the choruses or solos they performed in the current play just like in any musical. Having the story closely follow the arc of the Phantom Returns was an extra bonus that really shows the author’s enjoyment of the play.

The characters were highly engaging from top to bottom, though I have to admit I really had to feel for Rebecca’s luck. It’s bad enough tragedy seems to follow her, but her decision making brings about most of her problems. Through her eyes, we’re shown what her decisions or circumstances do to others, which helped raising the rest of the cast into likability.

Using the play as the backdrop, at its heart, this is a great, old fashioned detective story that really was reminiscent of Sur Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series and Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote.

I can’t wait to see what’s next in this series.

About CP Bialois

Where do I begin? Well first I guess it's only fair to say that CP Bialois isn't my real name. It's a collaboration I made out of the three greatest pets anyone could ever want. My real name is Ed and I'm just an average person that has found a way to do what he loves. For as long back as I can remember I loved to pretend. Whether it was with my Transformers, GI Joe, or He-Man toys I loved to create intricate plots and have them fight it out. As a fan of horror, science fiction, action, and comedy I dare say my taste in movies are well rounded. Some of my favorites were Star Wars, Star Trek, martial arts, and anything with Swarzenegger in them. I'd write my own stories about the characters I saw in the theaters or TV or I'd just daydream about what I'd see myself as the hero of course. You can't have a daydream without beating the bad guys, getting the girl, etc. It's just not right to envision yourself as a flunky or sidekick. As far as books I loved Sherlock Holmes, Treasure Island, Dracula, and the normal assortment. My early love was the Star Trek novels, I'd read them or the Hardy Boys relentlessly. For a time I could tell you the plot of over a hundred books not to mention comics. I have to come clean and say that I learned to read because of comic books. I was bored, make that extremely bored when we started to read in school. Reading "the cat fell down" really didn't interest me. My dad, who continues to astound me with his insight to this day, figured comics would work. With that in mind he went to the newstand in town and bought issues of Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Tales From the Crypt, and Spider-man. He patiently read through them with me until I picked it up. Whether it was him or the comics I learned to read in about two weeks and for a while few were as good as I was. For years after that whenever we'd go out he'd always spring for a couple of comic books for me. While it wasn't exactly the perfect beginning everything I've ever read or have seen has influenced me in some way and now is the time I'd like to share some of the ideas I've had over the years with all of you. I hope you enjoy my stories, they're always fun to write and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon.
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