28 April 2011

Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

Kit Corrigan grew up in a nontraditional poor Irish family of five: she's one of three triplets, "the Corrigan Three,"  raised by her father and his sister.  As an oddity in the 1940's, they preformed and played parts for local advertisements and shows.  While Muddie was "the shy one" and Jamie the adventurer, Kit was always the beautiful, charming little girl in the spotlight.  And it suited her well.

At nineteen, she's trying to make it big in New York City, trying her hardest just to land small roles in small theater shows.  When her boyfriend's (ex-boyfriend's?) father, Nate Benedict, a wealthy lawyer, offers her an apartment to stay in while she's looking for more work, promising it as an apartment that she can share with Billy when he returns home after completing his duties in the Korean War, she doesn't see how she can refuse.  But she soon finds that the apartment doesn't come with "no strings attached" as promised.  She's conveniently offered a job as a dancer at the Lido Club and is asked to spy on regulars and report back to Nate.  When one of the regulars turns up murdered, she's terrified to learn that Nate is defending the hitman and what role she herself might have played in the whole thing.  How did she get mixed up with Nate "No Witnesses" Benedict, and how will Billy react when he uncovers the truth?  What exactly is the truth?

A mix of 1940's and 50's mob history with romance, mystery, and adventure is sure to grab the attention of more than one type of reader.  This story throws a lot of punches and leaves a few bodies in its wake and these aren't characters that will be easy to forget.  Recommended to all readers looking for an enthralling telling of underground business and everyday life.  And as an added bonus, like What I Saw and How I Lied by the same author, this is one of the best-told stories I've read in some time.
Call number: YA BLUNDELL; YA CD BLUNDELL (Teen Room)

Reviewed by kate the librarian.

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