Sunday, July 03, 2016

Intrusion by Mary McCluskey

Mary McCluskey may have meant to end her debut novel on a frightening note. Instead, with Intrusion, she tells the story of a couple, heartbroken by loss, just trying to hang on.

Just over three months ago, Christopher Hamilton died. Scott and Kat are devastated by the loss of their seventeen-year-old son. While Scott throws himself into his work as a lawyer, Kat quit her job, and doesn't even want to get out of bed. When she does go for a job interview, she doesn't know what to say when she's asked if she has kids. Is she still a mother now that her only child is gone?

Kat does leave the house to see a therapist, and goes to a spa with her sister, Maggie, knowing Scott will join them, and the three will attend one of his company parties. It's there she's reunited with an old friend from school in England. Sarah Harrison is now a wealthy widow, head of a conglomerate, and a potential client for Scott's firm. Although Maggie warns her, Kat finds herself drawn back into Sarah's circle, forgetting Sarah's need for revenge against those who she sees as threats. And, it isn't long before the vulnerable Kat is caught in a web that she might not be able to escape.

McCluskey's success is in the creation of Kat. She's a mother, a woman destroyed by grief. That grief has no timetable, and, at times, Kat can't see a way to move forward. While the author undoubtedly intended the story to be about Sarah's plans for ruin, it's already too late. Kat already sees no future. McCluskey's portrayal of Kat is powerful.

Intrusion is a story of family drama. It's Kat Hamilton's portrait that will linger with the reader.

Mary McCluskey's website is

Intrusion by Mary McCluskey. Little A. 2016. ISBN 9781503953062 (hardcover), 208p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book for review for a journal.

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