Sunday, March 12, 2023


Title: The Concierge
Author: Miranda Rijks
Publisher: Inkubator Books
Pages: 260
My GoodReads Rating: ⭐⭐ (Actually 1½)


Ally Greystone, an actor longing for her big break, finally lands an important role in DeLucci Productions’ new film, The Insomniac. Unfortunately, the long hours and the attendant stress take a huge toll on her, and she barely has any time for husband Rob, daughter Carly or sister Simone. When she suddenly dies in a car accident, and police investigations find an overdose of meth in her system, Simone cannot believe it. She suspects foul play, but the police are convinced it is an accident.

Since the car belonged to the DeLuccis, Simone is convinced the couple have something to do with her sister’s death. After all, Braun was the director, and Marigold ‘Goldie’ was the producer of the film. Simone wrangles a job as their concierge, hoping to learn something that can re-open the murder investigation.

She ends up learning of the dysfunction in the DeLucci family. At 17, daughter Rose is rebellious and going around with a rather dodgy older man, while Florian, at 13, is bullied at school. Will she discover the truth about her sister’s death?

The book is written in the 1st person present tense PoV of Simone, Goldie and Rose. At first the three PoVs seem disparate and unconnected, but soon a vague link between the three begins to emerge.

It’s a quick read, and I suspect it might have been a quick write for the author.

The tendency of characters to suddenly embark on a description of their surroundings is very annoying. Here Goldie suddenly describes one of the rooms to us, and it sounds fake and takes us out of the story. 

I didn’t like any of the characters. Braun was rather bland, despite the author’s attempts to project him as some kind of a rake. and Rose’s arc was completely unbelievable and led far from Ally’s story. In fact, that’s another thing I didn’t like about the resolution. The mystery of Ally’s death is resolved but in a by-the-way manner, not by Simone’s efforts at all.

I was unimpressed with the manner in which Simone goes about her investigations. Her methods are amateurish though sincere. Her deductions are knowledge she has stumbled upon. She goes about her task without any real planning or thought.

There are three times when Braun and Goldie have cause to be suspicious of Simone, but they set the thought aside and go about their day. How strange is that?

Goldie is remarkably naïve as a character, blindly believing her daughter even though she knows that Rose is not truthful.

Florian had the potential to be a sympathetic character, to play a greater role in the plot, but he never has a chance. Even his problems are dismissed in a few sentences.

We never get to know Carly either. She too remains a flat character.

The ending went off at breakneck speed, resolving issues without conviction. There was a forced happily-ever-after element about the ending, with some characters suddenly living improved lives

There is a larger theme about dysfunction in families but it gets lost in the melee.

(I read this book on NetGalley. Thank you to the author, the publisher and NetGalley.) 

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