Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Trust by Ronald H. Balson

5 Star

When his uncle dies, Liam Taggart reluctantly returns to his childhood home in Northern Ireland for the funeral—a home he left years ago after a bitter confrontation with his family, never to look back. But when he arrives, Liam learns that not only was his uncle shot to death, but that he’d anticipated his own murder: In an astonishing last will and testament, Uncle Fergus has left his entire estate to a secret trust, directing that no distributions be made to any person until the killer is found. Did Fergus know, but refuse to name, his killer? Was this a crime of revenge, a vendetta leftover from Northern Ireland’s bloody sectarian war? After all, the Taggarts were deeply involved in the IRA. Or is it possible that the killer is a family member seeking Fergus’s estate? Otherwise, why postpone distributions to the heirs? Most menacingly, does the killer now have his sights on other family members? 

As his investigation draws Liam farther and farther into the past he has abandoned, he realizes he is forced to reopen doors long ago shut and locked. Now, accepting the appointment as sole trustee of the Fergus Taggart Trust, Liam realizes he has stepped into the center of a firestorm.

Kathryn - 5 Star

I really enjoyed my past Ronald H. Balson reads and so was delighted to sink my teeth into this one.  Set in the present with family ties to recent history the plot covers the life of Liam from his childhood in Ireland (during the period referred to as The Troubles) to the his current position of being the trustee of his uncle's will. 

There are a lot of characters and it's important to get them straight or you will find yourself confused.  Not only are there a number of family members and beneficiaries to the will but there are a lot of other possible "suspects".  Suspects because the death of his uncle is deemed to be suspicious by both the police and the family. 

I found the juxtaposition between the imminent danger and the complex family relationships to be fascinating. There are many loving bonds in this family and also a number of conflicts which kept me on my toes. Things seemed to be changing constantly especially as they seemed to be getting no closer to a culprit. 

Reviewing thrillers and mysteries is difficult without giving away the plot but I will say again that I was engaged all the way through and loved the historical aspect that peppered the plot. And though I had an idea of who would eventually be the culprit I wasn't sure until the very end. 

A great read and something a little bit different.

Thank you to St Martin's Press for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

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