Brotherhood Of Secrets & Lies by Lashonda Beauregard

Brotherhood Of Secrets & Lies by Lashonda Beauregard
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (74 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Phi Kappa is the most popular fraternity at the fictional university, Bayoutown University. Behind their perfect image and popularity are webs of lies and secrets and they’ll stop at nothing to keep anyone from uncovering their secrets and lies.

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I found this to be an interesting and well-plotted mystery story. I was a little disappointed at first that the timeline seemed to jump around a fair bit from the past to the present; it made following the story a little more difficult than I usually enjoy, but I was curious enough about the Fraternity and what lay behind the murders to keep pushing on. I’m glad that I persisted, as once the history had been explained seeing the two plotlines weave carefully and craftily together was really interesting.

I feel readers will really be able to relate to both Shawn and Nina. Shawn is trying to get his feet under him, as a freshman to the University. He’s not keen to get involved with the fraternity as his brother hadn’t been keen on the rumors of bullying and hazing that dogged the club. I also really enjoyed Nina’s character. As a reporter collecting data and investigate the two murders for the book she wanted to write she was both a strong character but also determined and I felt she added a good balance to Shawn’s unknowing and younger style of presence.

There are a number of layered and complicated characters in this mystery and I enjoyed watching them all interact with each other. I feel this story is definitely plot and character-centric and the setting of the University gave the whole story a bit of a “small town” style of feel to me. Everyone knew each other and all their lives crossed over in various ways and means. I felt the tension and conflict was handled very well by the author, with subtle pressure and innuendo to pressure and control some of the characters giving the whole story an ominous and faint air of trouble bubbling and lurking under the surface. I could easily see how the currents of power and corruption reached out to tangle pretty much everyone’s lives and it was an engrossing read. Once the plot and various characters started really coming into their own I ended up finishing the second half of the story in one sitting – and I can’t recall the last time I stayed up late because I simply couldn’t put a book down.

I found this to be a really strongly written and well plotted story. The mystery isn’t exactly a “who done it” but with layered and complicated characters, plenty of back-scratching and trading of favours coupled with subtle corruption there is suspense and tension a-plenty throughout this tightly woven short story. A great read and an author I plan to keep an eye out for. Recommended.

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