Readers' Favorite

June 10, 2024

Fantastic Page-Turner Full of Tension

by Susan Roberts

Someone knows what the twins are up to. And they’re closing in.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of thriller That Was Then by MK Tod
June 2024; Heath Street Publishing
ebooks (425 pages); political thriller

That Was Then
 is M.K. Tod's first contemporary novel after great success as a writer of historical fiction.  And I will tell you she hit it out of the park with her new book.  I enjoyed her historical fiction novels but That Was Then was a fantastic page-turning novel full of tension and fear for the main characters.

Andrea and Emma were twins and were each other's best friends as they grew up.  Emma decided they should go to different colleges so as not to be so dependent on each other.  It's senior year of college and they are finishing their degrees - Andrea in Chicago and Emma in New York City.  When Andrea gets raped by a well-known man during what was supposed to be an interview, she can barely cope.  The first person she called for help was Emma and her sister quickly flew to Chicago.  She tried to convince her sister to go to the police but Andrea didn't want to share her story with anyone and even lied to her sister about who the rapist was.  

Eight years later, the twins are not as close as they once were and geographically they are very far apart - Andrea is in New York working as a journalist and Emma is living in Paris.  They still have a weekly call to catch up with each other but they aren't involved in each other's daily lives.  When Andrea finds out that the man who raped her is running for Governor of Massachusetts, she knows that she has to keep his election from happening.  She wants the world to know what a terrible person he is.  She hatches a plan where she will work on his campaign undercover while she tries to find out more of his dirty little secrets.  The closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous life becomes for her and her sister (who is in NY impersonating Andrea).  How far will the backers of the campaign go to keep the truth from getting out to the public?  How much danger are Andrea and Emma really in??

This book was full of intrigue and tension and parts of it resembled what is currently going on in the US political arena.  Who is really running the election - the candidate or his backers who want him in place so that he can help them control   American democracy.   The novel also looks into the MeToo movement and the general disregard for women in all walks of life.

M.K. Tod has brought her readers a contemporary novel full of intrigue and suspense that is both believable but also reflects American politics.  I really liked the character of Andrea who wanted to expose a rapist despite the danger to herself.  She grew from a young girl who is having problems dealing with the rape to a strong and dedicated woman who wanted to expose the 'bad guys' and keep them out of political power.  This was a great read.  I look forward to the next book by this author -- whether it's historical fiction or contemporary.

Buy That Was Then at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.   

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