Circle of Trust: Jacqueline Simon Gunn
Draw a circle and place yourself within the boundaries of it but make sure that you never touch the outer perimeter. Be aware of those that are directly outside the circumference of this circle and know that not everyone who wears a smile is not hiding something they don’t want you to find out. Within this circle you must be care who you allow to enter your world, your special space and make sure that they are belong within your Circle of Trust. The murders within this book are two that form a parallel to what is happening within the present. First if the murder of Noah Donavan which affects our forensic investigator within this circle and second is the brutal murder of radio psychologist Jacob Temple found dead on the floor of his den with forks coming out of each of his eyes and brutally stabbed. It’s as if the killer was taking out more than just some hate or vengeance on this poor victim. Noah Donavan was the lover of Kadee and her friend Yvonne. Meeting Yvonne and hearing her voice you get to understand her hidden anger, resentment, and hate for Kadee and you learn why she wants revenge. Some want it for a crime another person committed against them but in this case it goes deeper as you hear her voice, learn to what extent she will go to befriend Kadee who at times sees through her ruse and her disguise and yet at other times discounts her gut reactions.
Yvonne was Kadee’s psychiatrist and knows her inner most thoughts but when she reveals her anger, her thoughts about how Noah betrayed her you realize that she is a psychopath, sociopath and delusional. Creating a world around herself thinking that everyone had to bow to her wants and need she not only is planning to get even with Kadee but to ruin her life with Alex too. Taking all that she has and Kadee although is becoming suspicious of her she still has not pieced it all together. As Oliver Piedmont and Julie Light come and tell their stories to the police we learn more about why Jacob married Fiona, how she manipulated and controlled him and why he could not leave her. While dealing with her bent up feelings for Noah and not doing well with the past, Kadee starts to see that she is lucky to have rekindled her relationship with Alex and move one but the murder reminds her of Yvonne’s book titled Circle of Betrayal and what Emily did to Oliver. The parallels are real and the work of this illusionist who is totally delusional shines through.
The police bring in Fiona and Sally and although their stories differ one thing stands out is that either one or both had something to do with Jacob’s murder as we hear his voice within the pages of his tragic journal and although Fiona puts on a great act about her relationship and her lies something does not ring true. In the meantime Yvonne is planning her revenge against Kadee, her weird poetry is shared with readers as she thinks her writing is great, her plot line does fall flat but her demented thoughts are scary. Jacob is a fallen and beaten man who falls prey to the cunning and conniving tricks of a woman who married him just to appease her family as he remains with her to do the same. But, things fall apart when he breaks if off with Jane, ruins her life and her self-esteem as she goes after Jacob but not in a violent way but in a way that shows she is vulnerable, terrified of losing him for good and hopeful that someday he will return to her but Fiona is smarter and more dangerous.
Author Jacqueline Simon Gunn has created several tragic characters in Kadee who does not see what is happening in front of her and yet at times she does but discounts her gut reactions. She often as Yvonne and Julie do create irrational reactions to simple situations. Kadee misses Noah although she has moved on with Alex. It’s as if she feels guilty for being happy. Using her expertise as a clinical psychologist the author seems to almost council the characters as Kadee falls prey to Yvonne once again and their relationship is overpowered by Yvonne’s obsession to destroy her as Jane want revenge in her own way.
As Jane bears her soul to the police and Oliver Piedmont relates the rest they realize that the killer or killers might be right in front of them but both Jane and Oliver are afraid, as they could be next. But, Jane’s fate is sealed but in a way you won’t see coming as she appears to have taken her life but did she? With Fiona on the lose and the back story of how she is able to manipulate someone close to her father’s friend we learn just why he’s able to get things done and why someone else is being framed for the murder. While the real murderer is revealed in the case of Jacob and Yvonne intends to take another step to get even with Kadee things take on a different turn as Kadee begins to see through her ruse, her weird behavior and strange sayings and just might realize that she better stay away before she and Oliver meet the same fate.
The killer is clever and when revealed you won’t believe just who did it , why and who is responsible for all the murders. But, the author is quite cunning herself as she allows the police to have a false sense of security allowing them to think that they have nailed a killer as the Circle of Trust is coming apart and the person standing in the middle better fortify the circumference before it’s too late. Betrayals, lies, deceits and one clever manipulator as we wait for the next installment in this interesting trilogy. Sometimes someone can be hiding in plain sight and yet even though the signs are there and the evidence is piling up no one sees what you do and the illusion remains and the circle of trust begins to cave in until it fades away. Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine