A woman and her young son flee to a convent on a remote island off the Breton coast of France. Generations of seafarers have named the place Île de la Brume, or Fog Island. In a chapel high on a cliff, a tragic death occurs and a terrified child vanishes into the mist.
The child’s godmother, Maggie O’Shea, haunted by the violent deaths of her husband and best friend, has withdrawn from her life as a classical pianist. But then a recording of unforgettable music and a grainy photograph surface, connecting her missing godson to a long-lost first love.
The photograph will draw Maggie inexorably into a collision course with criminal forces, decades-old secrets, stolen art and musical artifacts, and deadly terrorists. Her search will take her to the Festival de Musique, Aix-en-Provence, France, where she discovers answers to her husband’s death, an unexpected love—and a musical masterpiece lost for centuries.
A compelling blend of suspense, mystery, political intrigue, and romance, The Lost Concerto explores universal themes of loss, vengeance, courage, and love.
(note – A high % of author royalties will be donated to The SunDial Foundation, Inc. to support women, children and families.)
REVIEW EXCERPTS – THE LOST CONCERTO by Helaine Mario
REVIEW FROM PHIL JASON, FLORIDA WEEKLY
“Music-themed thriller hits all the right notes.” Phil Jason
STARRED REVIEW FROM LIBRARY JOURNAL
*Mario, Helaine. The Lost Concerto. Oceanview.
Jul. 2015. 448p. ISBN 9781608091515. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781608091522. F
“Taking the form of a concerto, this second novel from Mario (Firebird) is divided into three action-packed emotional movements. Consumed by grief, recently widowed Madgalena O’Shea is disengaged from her life as a concert pianist. When her best friend Sofia is murdered and her godson disappears, Maggie becomes embroiled in a conflict that is at once global and deeply personal. The agent investigating Sofia’s death shares with Maggie a photograph recently taken in Paris and a recording of an unpublished concerto. She recognizes the piece as a composition by her first love, lost in war-torn Beirut 30 years ago yet impossibly alive in the Paris photo. Vowing to find her godson and the truth, Maggie hastens to France, unaware that the trail she follows will lead to stolen art, musical artifacts, criminals, and terrorists. VERDICT: Music is not just backdrop here but also a character that permeates Maggie’s life. With the help of a vigilant retired colonel and bolstered by the transformative power of classical music, Maggie finds what has been lost, including herself. Brava!”
PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY REVIEW OF THE LOST CONCERTO May 25, 2015
“suspenseful, heartrending novel…”
“Musical artifacts and stolen art also figure in the action, which builds to a highly satisfying resolution.”
“fans of romantic thrillers will be enthralled.” (July)
REVIEW from InD’Tale Magazine
“Holy smokes, this story takes a reader on an intriguing journey! There are twists and turns that one never sees coming, making this a real page turner. Even after having to set it down for a few days, one will pick it back up and be sucked right back in. Mystery, murder, intrigue, terrorism, stolen music and artifacts….there is a lot going on in this story, but Ms. Mario keeps the flow going so well that it’s easy to keep track of all the players. Maggie is heartbroken but finds the strength she needs even in the face of danger, and a love interest to help her find her way back to life…sigh. Brava Ms. Mario, Brava!!!”
OUTSTANDING REVIEW COMING IN SEPT FROM FORWARD REVIEWS. Will post as soon as possible
Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 7 – Recommended, Summer Books, Hunt Down These Killer Mysteries
“The Lost Concerto” by Helaine Mario (Oceanview, $28, July 1)
With undertones of a “melancholy nocturne” and the frantic tempo of Stravinsky’s “Dance of the Young Girls,” this is the kind of compulsive continent-crossing thriller that summer reading is all about.”
Congratulations on another outstanding review of The Lost Concerto! This one from Bookloons.com:
|Maggie O’Shea has just lost her best friend to a violent murder at the same time
her friend’s child, Maggie’s godson, disappears. She is still recovering from the
shock of losing her beloved husband to a tragic boating accident. How much
more can she handle?
Maggie is a classical pianist who can no longer find the impetus to place her
fingers on the keys of her piano, let alone give a concert. Through no fault of her own, she becomes entangled with those responsible for missing art and musical artifacts, criminal elements, secrets from the past as well as deadly terrorists.
Maggie is determined to find her godson, whom she had promised to raise if something should happen to his mother. This is no easy task as she discovers
once she starts the search.
Just learning how to live with loss is the first lesson she must conquer. She
battles this as she untwists the clues that will put her on the right path to
finding the little boy.
It seemed to me that every page contained enough suspense and thrills to keep
us all up late at night reading. As Maggie continues her search for the child,
it appears as though everything that could go wrong for her does.
As tension mounts, it is so easy to put yourself in Maggie’s shoes. The Lost Concerto by Helaine Mario races to a conclusion that kept me almost breathless. Maggie’s determination and courage drives this work to an ending I did not
expect But one that was the right one. Don’t miss The Lost Concerto.
|FROM: Tales to Tide You Over
“It’s powerful and evocative. It’s also brutal and graphic at times, sparing
the reader nothing. Other times, it’s funny and poignant. And throughout the
whole winds a love of music that is tangible. The Lost Concerto might not
follow genre conventions, it might play games with what the reader knows
that are author intrusion in keeping secrets even when we’re in the POV of
characters who know, but the story itself is one to keep you reading, the
flaws minor in comparison to the power of deep characters and complex
REVIEW from SHADE TREE BOOKS, Karen Laird
As I sat down to review The Lost Concerto, I puzzled over which story to discuss, which tale to delve in to. Most times when you are treated to a well written novel, you have a central theme (story) and one or two side stories that can be told to add breadth to the tale. These could be stories that are running concurrently, back-stories that fills in the lives of the characters in the novel and adds depth and breadth to the central core and makes you love or hate the mainstay of the novel. Sometimes, you might even get a side story that are small flash forwards of what is to come and whets your appetite for the coming pages and might give you a false sense of security or fright by leading you astray.
Helaine Mario swept this reader off her feet. The mental score card came out as I began to track the numerous story paths through this complex and wondrous book that wrapped the reader in a web of intrigue. There were several concurrent storylines that contained overlapping characters. There were storylines with the same characters that flung the reader to the far and near past. Each story, be it short or a longer one that continued to pop-up throughout the book, peeled back a little more of the total picture. Each revelation changed the view of the panorama laid out before the reader, changing the viewpoint of what we thought and felt previously about a character or about where the story was headed.
Who said, “nothing is as it seems, assume nothing”? The only absolute to be assumed was that “all was not fair in love and war”. Even as a reader, one felt ensnared in the tangled web of deceit that seemed to dominate both sides of this subtle war between the CIA and an ex-employee. With a musician and a little boy caught in the web and at the center of the battle. Who would win? Would there be a winner?
Helaine did a great job of her character development. Just like she did with her complex story lines, so she did with her characters. Just as you thought you knew who someone was, you discovered that they were not the person you thought they were. The friendships, the associations, the allies, the enemies; they seemed like fluid lines that moved and mixed. You didn’t know who to trust, who to believe. Much like the heroine, you had to stay focused on the reason – Max, the son of the heroine’s friend. Nothing else could matter.
This is one book that will go on the must be re-read shelf. For with the coming of the last page, I knew I needed to read it again. I wanted to gain all the nuances that I missed in the first read. True, there were times I found myself rushing to turn the page, breathlessly waiting to see what the next page might reveal. In my haste to absorb the incredulity and rush of the action of the story, what could I have missed? Therefore, I find that I want to go back for a second read, knowing all, to wallow in the pure genius of the telling of the tale.
In my opinion, this is one book that should be up for multiple awards for fiction for 2015. I cannot begin to enumerate the reasons for listing The Last Concerto a FIVE STAR REVIEW!!!!
FROM: BOOKS FOR AVID READERS
“An island off the coast of France. the perfect place for a young mother and her son to hide – until there is a murder and the little boy disappears. Maggie O’Shea is horrified to hear of the disappearance of her godson. She is still trying to get over the deaths of her husband and best friend. An old photo that puts Maggie in mind of both the lost boy and her first love sets Maggie on a trail that will take her to a French music festival where she will encounter international terrorist plots, recall a lost love and finally understand her husband’s death.”
REVIEWS FROM PARTNERS IN CRIME BOOK TOUR –
“This is one book filled with so much suspense, heartbreaking scenes, issues of coping with disabilities, the beauty and soothing quality of music when you listen closely and the feeling you get when you get engulfed in the sounds of the instruments that speak to each listener in his/her own way. The Lost Concerto: Can you hear it?”
by Just Reviews, Gabina49, Partners in Crime Tours
“Like all great novels, “The Lost Concerto” challenges you, but in a good way. I put it down… And then I picked it up again. It call to me; haunted me. I wanted to live in its context. The book offers the reader a complex plot, crisp dialogue, and sharp scenes.
It’s a beautiful book. A beautiful little tale in a beautiful setting in a beautifully-made package… A grand, sweeping tale that takes the reader on a journey across Europe; a travel book with teeth. It’s hard to express or convey the emotional quality of Mario’s narrative… She takes you there and leaves you… breathless.” John Hegenberger via Partners in Crime tours
“In the Dictionary under Suspense the definition is simply, “The Lost Concerto”. This is the kind of story that Director Alfred Hitchcock used to delight us with. Ms. Mario has given us a thriller. She has taken an innocent godmother and plunged her into a world of suspense, high drama, secrets and vengeance. “The Lost Concerto” is a highly intriguing mystery. Most certainly this is a page-turner that will keep you highly engrossed. Don’t start this book late at night as it will cost you sleep as you try to finish it before you go to bed. I am so glad I found this highly talented author and am looking forward to more from Ms. Mario.” Vic’s Media Room, via Partners in Crime tours