There Was An Old Woman by Hallie Ephron. Publisher: William Morrow (2013). Suspense/Thriller. Hardcover. 304 pages. ISBN 9780062117601.
I’ve been aching for a real thriller in recent months– a page-turner that I don’t want to put down and can’t wait to pick back up again, one which avoids slasher gore and serial killing. There Was an Old Woman by Hallie Ephron draws you in with equal parts creepiness, cleverness and colorful characters. Ephron manages to include fear of aging, alcoholism, family dynamics, aggressive developers and historical preservation in her twisty-turny suspenseful novel about a young woman who returns to her Bronx neighborhood when her alcoholic mother ends up hospitalized. Evie knew her mom wasn’t doing very well but didn’t realize how far she’d declined in recent months. The more she investigates and befriends sassy 91-year-old neighbor Mina, who shares her own conspiracy theories about the neighborhood’s demise, the stranger everything seems. Is it all in her elderly neighbor’s mind or is someone trying to make fools of them all?
–review by Amy Steele
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from William Morrow.