“When the perfect plan goes perfectly wrong.
The only downside to Joshua Cooper’s investigation of a mob runner is not being able to discuss it with the two people closest to him, 19-year-old twins, Aster and Ivy Redd.
That is…until Aster is accused of killing the mob runner. Then discussing it becomes the least of his worries.
Desperate to exonerate the girl he loves, Joshua dives into Indianapolis’s dark underbelly, and uncovers a string of crimes and lies that leads him straight to the Masterpiecers’s art show.
Straight to Ivy…”
I received a copy of The Masterminds from the author, Olivia Wildenstein. All opinions expressed are my own.
I really don’t know how I feel about this. On one hand, I love the story (see my previous review!) but on the other, I don’t think this second volume was capitalized upon enough.
1. The characters. This is the part that I really enjoy. We spend an extensive amount of time with each of the main characters (there are three notable ones) in their POV’s and their characters are developed nicely. The mystery element of the story really lends itself to a sort of psychoanalysis that the author engages in enthusiastically. I loved the investigation of each character’s motivations and how they interplayed with each other.
2. The plot. This is the bit I have an issue with. The first two thirds of the book is basically a retelling of what happened in the whole of the first book, but with a different perspective: this time, on the other side of the mystery (Brook and Josh vs. Ivy). Honestly, I don’t think it was really necessary to devote that much page time to it. It felt repetitive and I found myself becoming increasingly impatient with the pace. I enjoyed seeing the other side of the story, but it expanded to take up most of the book which I don’t think was necessary. However, the last third was a very enjoyable addition to the plot and while I found the ending to be a bit of a whirlwind, it was a good wrap-up to the events introduced in the first book.
3. The romance. Again, this is something I’m not too sure about because of the repetition of events. Basically, the new information concerning the main relationship (a love triangle that’s kinda-sorta not a love triangle between Chase, Brook, and Ivy) is just that Brook massively in love with Ivy which you could already surmise by the events in the first book. Personally, this installment felt mostly like it was catering to fans who wanted to see a new perspective on the events. Which is great, but I think it’s a good job for a novella. In any case, the romance ended nicely and I didn’t mind the love triangle too much (which is kind of saying a lot for me!).
The Final Verdict:
While this installment is a bit repetitive (and slightly unnecessary), I did thoroughly enjoy the continued character insights.
When she’s not writing, she’s psychoanalyzing everyone she meets (Yes. Everyone), eavesdropping on conversations to gather material for her next book, baking up a storm (that she actually eats), going to the gym (because she eats), and attempting not to be late at her children’s school (like she is 4 out of 5 mornings, on good weeks).
Wildenstein lives with her husband and three children in Geneva, Switzerland, where she’s an active member of the writing community.