The Lost Concerto
by Helaine Mario
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 Ile 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The child’s godmother, Maggie O’Shea, haunted by the violent deaths of her husband and best friend, has withdrawn from her life as a classical pianist.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-long 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 the mystery surrounding 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.
Helaine Mario grew up in New York City and is a graduate of Boston University. She has served on many nonprofit boards while residing in both Connecticut and Maryland.
A passionate advocate for women’s and children’s issues, she is the founder and president of The SunDial Foundation, which is connected to over 30 DC area nonprofits. Helaine and her husband, Ron, now live in Arlington, Virginia, and Sarasota, Florida. The Lost Concerto, her second novel, was inspired by her son Sean, a classical pianist.
The Lost Concerto: by Helaine Mario
A young woman flees for her life with her young son to a convent thinking she will be safe and hoping to protect her child. Stealing away in the dead of the night they stop for nothing until they reach their destination thinking that the person they trusted the most to help them not let them down. But, the author relates events in the prologue that will bring chills to every part of your body as the woman and child learn their fate. A dark figure enters the church and what happens next will end the life of a young diplomat and change that of a young child.
Fast-forward to the present where we meet Maggie O’Shea a classical pianist who is the focal point of this story. After losing her husband in a sailing accident within the last 8 months, her friend’s murder in the church sets off a chain of events that will lead her in a search to find her godchild, her friend’s son and keep the promise to protect him. Just where is Tommy James Orsini and who killed her best friend Sophia is where the story now begins.
Agent Simon Sugarman is determined to get Maggie to help solve this case and visiting her is his first priority. A picture a simple photograph would change it all as the man in the picture might possibly be the father of her own child, Zachary Law presumed dead. Looking at the picture the photo shows or may show the killer and that alone place her in grave danger. Her best friend’s husband never wanted their friendship to continue, locked Sophia away with her son, refused to allow her to visit and the last time she saw her alive was at the child’s Christening we she overheard Victor berating his wife because she was there. Stolen art, music and terrorist attacks are just some of what is at the heart of the issues revealed in this novel. Added in betrayals, trust, lies and the possibility of deceit as Maggie uncovers something within her own husband’s affects that might clear up more than just her friend’s murder. Could a terrorist attack be in the works? Who’s funding it? When Maggie goes through her husband’s affects she finds clues to a missing Concerto that her husband wrote and was never completed. Finding her way to Europe to solve the mystery and maybe even what happened to Zach. Thinking he was dead for over 30 years and wanting to know if he’s living in France.
Colonel Michael Beckett has now been enlisted by Sugarman to work on the case to stop the attack as Maggie is sent to meet up with him but both of their expectations of each other will surprise readers. Maggie has not been able to play the piano and enjoy the music within her since losing her husband. Victor Orsini is a dangerous man who deals in stolen art whose father stored a cache of expensive artwork, violins and manuscripts. Upon his mother’s death a letter was penned to him telling him of what his father really did and how she expected him to repent for them all. But, Victor used what he found to create an empire of his own. Terrorists need to be funded by people with large amounts of money and if Sugarman using his resources could possibly find a way to cut off the finances and even more find Tommy Orsini and keep him safe. But, first Maggie learns many hidden truths, comes face to face with a killer and then learns the truth about Zach.
Each chapter and each scene draws the reader in as you can hear the different concertos being played, the sonatas or even the parts of a symphony as the violin takes the lead or even the piano. The music of Beethoven, Bach and even Van Cliburn is in the air and you can feel the music come alive as you read each page and feel the pain Maggie endures each time she thinks about Zach and the Concerto he wrote that was never played.
Murder is everywhere and Victor will stop at nothing to silence Maggie as he hires a killer named Dane who is more than dangerous and is connected to Zach. Sending her husband Johnny to find her friend’s missing son with the help of the owner of an art gallery she feels is blamed for her death. Guilt has plagued her but will she ever release it as she and Michael Beckett seemed to have formed more than just a simple friendship. Was her husband’s death an accident or was it murder? One of the best characters in the book is the dog that has been maimed with three legs belonging to Beckett and who seems to soar and thrive with his handicap. As the dog suffers from Post-traumatic syndrome, so does Beckett but when you finally meet Tommy Orsini what happened to him when he saw his mother killed silenced his voice and he no longer speaks.
With the help of Agent Sugarman from the Department of Justice, the strength that she holds within her without realizing it from her music, her will to persist and not give up Maggie O’Shea just might find peace. But, the photo she has of Zach, her son Brian’s father who she thought died in the Middle East thirty years ago haunts her and she cannot reconcile her life or move on with the two people she cared about the most gone and unanswered questions about both. Will she and Beckett find Tommy? Will she allow him to use her for bait to find the killer?
From a remote island off the Breton coast of France, to Paris, Washington and places around the world including Fog Island in a chapel high on cliff where a child sees the unthinkable the author takes readers inside the minds of two killers, the rationale behind what they think and what they plan as Maggie O’Shea risks more than just her music but her life and soul to find the Lost Concerto and the lost music within her. Going to the Festival de Musique, Aix-en Provence, France Maggie comes face to face with someone from her past that she thought was gone. A chance encounter and the truth about Zach unfolds and his fate revealed and they connect but in a different way. But, danger strikes again and Tommy’s life is once again held in the balance can someone else protect him and will Maggie be free from her own bonds and that of a deadly killer named Victor who wants to silence her forever?
Things heat up fast and Maggie learns the truth but not before a killer takes her in hand and a young child’s life is in danger. What she does and the risks she takes to save Tommy you just won’t believe as two people that she loves are injured another has to come front and center with the truth and the startling revelation about who is behind the funding for the terrorists and who has been working with Victor Orsini will shock readers as the climatic ending is so explosive and the intricate plot comes full circle as Maggie tries to avenge the death of her best friend, keep her promise and learns the truth about her husband’s death as she is comes face to face with a diabolical killer, art thief, music thief and much more hoping to find the music that we stolen and lost that Victor wanted for his sister. What happens to the Lost Concerto? Who wrote it and will it ever be played?
An ending that will bring music into your heart and soul as you hear the sounds of the piano but who is playing it as author Helaine Mario brings the story to a dramatic close with an ending that will startled, surprise and shock readers. “Just because I can’t see you does not mean you are not here.” A love that will last more than a lifetime and music that will fill the air forever. The Lost Concerto: Just what did Sophia steal from Victor? Will Zach’s voice and final score ever be played?
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?