Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel
Rating: 4.5 stars
Charlie, Presumed Dead is an intriguing and suspenseful thriller with many psychological elements. On the day of Charlie Price’s memorial service his girlfriends Lena and Aubrey meet for the first time. It’s immediately apparent that Charlie had several lives, several personalities, and more than one girlfriend. While forging a tentative friendship, Lena and Aubrey search through Charlie’s life for clues to the truth. Is Charlie really dead? Or did he create a new life so he could escape the ones he had already ruined. The search for the truth takes the girls from Paris to London, Mumbai, and Bangkok. With Lena’s trust fund and Aubrey’s wits it should be an easy few days poking into Charlie’s past. But with each new country comes conflicting accounts of Charlie and who he really was. To make things more difficult Lena and Aubrey still don’t want to share all their secrets and knowledge about Charlie with each other. Without trust the truth will not be known. I can’t give even a hint about where the ending of this book is headed. It is a slap-you-in-the-face type ending that leaves you reeling and re-reading the last chapter to make sure you didn’t miss anything. I have no idea if there will be more books about Charlie Price but if there are you do not want to miss out.
When I first started reading Charlie, Presumed Dead I was annoyed by the characters’ personalities and their whiny attitudes. At 18 years old, Lena comes off as a spoiled, rich, brat who thinks she’s better than everyone. Aubrey is dark and sheltered to the point where you just want her to stay spineless and retreat back home to the States. As Lena and Aubrey travel the world, however, they grow and evolve into strong women who have each other’s backs and can stand up for themselves. It was a nice change to see them forge a friendship even when everything is trying to put a wedge between them.
Recommendation: This is a great NA book with deep emotions, heart pounding encounters, and a friendship that rises upon the norm. A great read for fans of Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams, We’ll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean, and The Tenderness of Thieves by Donna Freitas.
Link to Amazon : http://amzn.to/1KGHtSE