Review: "Staccato" by Deborah J. Ledford

When acclaimed pianist Nicholas Kalman discovers his lover’s dead body, he sets out alone to find her killer. During his journey, he meets an unwitting female accomplice who soon becomes determined to help Nicholas wield his retaliation. Following a parallel path for justice, Steven Hawk, the deputy of a sleepy Southern county, is assigned to the case. Pursuing the investigation, Hawk finds himself entangled in a world of vengeance, greed and manipulation.

Performed against the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, Staccato transports readers to a behind-the-scenes glimpse of professional musicians, the psychological twists and turns of its characters, and in the end, retribution that crashes in a crescendo of notes played at the literary pace of a maestro’s staccato.

Review by Melissa Cornwell
First, I would like to say that I enjoyed Staccato very much. It was a very intense adventure right from the beginning. The characters were very enjoyable, especially Nicholas. He was a very convincing character, and I felt for him the entire way. I just really liked the intensity of the novel. It was to the point, and I liked that about it. I also felt that the background behind the story was thoroughly explained. As mentioned in the acknowledgments, a lot of research was required to make this book possible, and the effort shows in the result. I could also feel like I could connect to the characters on my own emotional level. Everyone has secrets, or skeletons in the closet, that they would rather not address, and I felt that coming from the characters. I could also relate to the musical side of the book, or that passion for music, or for any form of art. The characters were extremely complex, like Sampte. I felt that he was a character torn between loyalty and doing what is right. What person hasn’t been put in that position at one time and another? This novel was very realistic in terms of what the characters portrayed: Alexander, who was never truly loved, and Timothy, who wanted to find acceptance. The villains had a very human side to them. I was also really glad that Nicholas was able to continue playing after doing therapy. His was a well-deserved happy ending. This book brings out these qualities of humanity, and that is why I liked this book. Excellent writing technique and language, which made the book easier to read. All in all, an excellent debut novel, and I wish the author future success in her career.