Book Review: Fallen Women

Fallen WomenFallen Women by Sandra Dallas
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: October 22, 2013
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Publisher’s Description:

It is the spring of 1885 and wealthy New York socialite Beret Osmundsen has been estranged from her younger sister, Lillie, for a year when she gets word from her aunt and uncle that Lillie has died suddenly in Denver.  What they do not tell her is that Lillie had become a prostitute and was brutally murdered in the brothel where she had been living.  When Beret discovers the sordid truth of Lillie’s death, she makes her way to Denver, determined to find her sister’s murderer.  Detective Mick McCauley may not want her involved in the case, but Beret is determined, and the investigation soon takes her from the dangerous, seedy underworld of Denver’s tenderloin to the highest levels of Denver society.  Along the way, Beret not only learns the depths of Lillie’s depravity, but also exposes the sinister side of Gilded Age ambition in the process.

I loved Sandra Dallas’s novel Tallgrass so I was I was excited to read her latest book, Fallen Women. I have to say I was a little disappointed. I liked it but I didn’t love it as I did Tallgrass. This book centers around the mystery of who killed Lillie Osmundsen. While I was surprised by who the killer was and enjoyed the journey getting that point, I wasn’t quite satisfied with the ending. That’s I’ll I say so I don’t spoil it for you.

It’s also a character study of Lillie’s sister Beret. Beret is a strong independent woman, usual for that time period. Along the way, we learn what made her that way. She is by far the most developed character and the most interesting. I liked how her back-story was revealed in bits and pieces. The other characters were good as well. I really liked how the author made an air of creepiness surround Jonas. It jumped off the page and made me cringe.

While not Ms. Dallas’s best work, Fallen Women is a solid offering.

(I received this book courtesy of Amazon Vine.)