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A freelancer writer encounters dread and mystery on assignment in England

and poet Anne Britting Oleson suspends the opening of her engrossing thriller/mystery, “Aventurine and the Reckoning,” between two stories. The first is the death of Shep Genthner. His disappearance has caused grievous consequences for his 20-something son, Paul. The second has Aventurine Morrow, a best-selling nonfiction writer, pursuing a about Genevieve Smithson, a 94-year-old woman who was a British spy during World War II. The book, Oleson's fifth novel, opens with Aventurine eager to set out for to interview Smithson, who has never before divulged her life as a spy. Smithson had lied about her age as a teen, so at just 16 was trained as a stealth killer of German soldiers. Review “Aventurine and the Reckoning” By Anne Britting Oleson Encircle Publications. 273 pages. $16.99 “Take Paul with you,” Aventurine's twin sister pleads in the book's opening line. “He needs you.” Paul has been withdrawn and severely depressed since his father disappeared during a global solo sail. Aventurine is reluctant to encumber her research trip, yet she adores her nephew and agrees. Aventurine meets Paul at the Boston airport for the flight to Heathrow. “He was uncommunicative… Until that morning, I hadn't seen him in months. I felt his confusion, his pain, his differentness .” Paul tells his aunt that he'd wanted to join his father on his around-the-world sail, but his father had insisted on going alone. The young man harbors deep guilt that he hadn't insisted. “I could have saved him. I […]

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