4 stars out of 5: An entertaining story with enough depth to hold readers’ attention without slowing down the exciting pace of the plot. Characters are believable and fresh and readers will identify with them, even if their perspectives are less nuanced or complex than they could have been. Dramatic historical events are handled with a narrative distance which makes the historical context seem somewhat unnecessary. But Ms. Tibaldi does a great job of creating strong women characters in her story and succeeds in giving detective, action and thriller genres a distinctly feminine twist.
“Willow Pond” is Carol Tibaldi’s novel about Laura Kingsley, a socialite breaking free of her controlling husband to seek her own life with her young son against the backdrop of 1930’s New York. But when Laura Kingsley’s son is kidnapped, her ideas of a quiet life with her baby boy away from her rich-and-famous husband are shattered. Laura turns to the police and to person she trusts most in the world, Virginia Kingsley, the aunt who raised Laura when her parents died. But Virginia’s life is complicated by the boot-leggers, and organized crime on which Virginia has built her reputation as a legitimate “business woman” and speak-easy owner. Virginia has other ideas about how to find Laura’s missing son, but her actions are being closely monitored by a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who is convinced Virginia knows more about the child’s disappearance than she’s telling Laura or the police.