Blundell has already received acclaim for her debut novel What I Saw and How I Lied and Strings Attached continues in the same confident, accomplished vein.
Kit Corrigan’s dream is to be a dancer in a Broadway musical: her reality is a chaotic home life in Providence with an inadequate father, her brother Jamie, her sister Muddie and a stormy relationship with the love of her life, the volatile Billy, son of the Mafia boss, Nate Benedict. When escalating tensions drive away Aunt Della, who represents the family’s only emotional and financial stability and Jamie and Billy enlist in the Army, Kit decides to leave for New York. Here she accepts a part in a show with no future, subsists in frightful lodgings and finally accepts Nate’s help in solving both these problems, believing this will help her to secure a future for herself and Billy.
When Nate begins to call in favours which will support his criminal activities Kit feels unable to refuse and is drawn into a world of violence, deceit and broken promises. Blundell layers on the tension as the narrative winds to its tragically violent denouement, holding the reader firmly in a web of intrigue which is torn away piece by ragged piece to reveal a series of shocking truths.
This is a long complex book, richly peopled and threaded through with shattered dreams but there is an eventual reward for Kit in the shape of freedom from the moral contamination into which she was drawn both by Nate Benedict and by her own desires.