Kirkus Reviews:

"An ambitious multigenre novel.  The intelligent prose and sheer scope make the novel consistently engaging, clever and enjoyable."

Lifelines is a metropolitan murder mystery starring a high-powered attorney and her visions of Atlantis. Burning heat surrounds her, and just as she is about to be engulfed by a wall of flames—Rhiannon, Manhattan attorney—wakes up. It’s an ominous beginning to a narrative that not only traverses the Byzantine machinations of New York’s elites, but time and space, as well. The story proper begins when Rhiannon’s friend, the dubiously named Allegra Smedley-Carr, opens the Met as the eponymous character in Alban Berg’s Lulu. During the performance, Allegra’s husband, Alexander, is shot dead in the audience during a convenient scene in the opera. All suspicions are on Allegra, and the ballistic report proves that the supposed prop-gun she wields in the opera is the same that fired the fatal bullets at her womanizing and generally dreadful husband. Rhiannon quite literally comes to Allegra’s defense, and so she must deal with a sniping press, mysterious conspirators, and the hard-nosed New York City Police Department.  Daniel, the lead investigator, is fairly certain that it’s an open and shut case, but with Rhiannon as his main suspect’s attorney, a true conflict of interest develops—this murder mystery develops into a fun, dramatic romance. Amid the investigation, Rhiannon’s visions intensify, and her friend Jenny explains that it may have something to do with past lives. The protagonist gradually begins to solve her mystery as the intriguing murderplot unravels, but her vivid visions of a life on Atlantis don’t always jibe with the profane side of the novel. The final revelation, though life-affirming, exceeds the bounds of the non-metaphysical narrative with a messianic message that too easily dwarfs the consequences of Allegra’s tribulations and the genuinely romantic subplot between Rhiannon and Daniel. However, the intelligent prose and sheer scope make the novel consistently engaging, clever and enjoyable.

An ambitious multigenre novel.

Kirkus Discoveries, Nielsen Business Media, 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Clarion Foreword Reviews:

Awarded 4 Stars! (out of 5)

Past and present blur for New York City attorney Rhiannon O’Rourke, resulting in nightmares, daydreams, and flashbacks to her past lives as she attempts to defend her friend Allegra against murder charges. In addition to the case and her disturbing episodes, Rhiannon must negotiate her growing affection for detective Daniel McKenzie. In this debut novel, Victoria Anne Wofford weaves a compelling tale of a love across space and time.

Both Rhiannon and Daniel are practical people, and they have a hard time deciding whether or not Rhiannon’s visions are real. But when they become more frequent and broader in scope, Daniel admits to having similar experiences. Against the drama of the murder trial and their tumultuous relationship, the two grapple with the significance of their psychic episodes. 

Rhiannon, Daniel, and most of the secondary characters are vividly drawn. They speak and act like real people with complex motives. Wofford captures the way a couple’s response to a situation can change over time, and how the slightest remark can reopen an old wound. While Rhiannon and Daniel butt heads over the metaphysical issue of past-life flashbacks, Wofford chronicles the ebb and flow of their rapport with astonishing realism. Many of the supporting characters come alive with their own distinct opinions and aspirations. In fact, the Big Apple itself becomes a character as readers follow Rhiannon through the city, absorbing the author’s descriptions of different hotspots.

Wofford creates rich worlds and characters in the past lives of Rhiannon and Daniel. Without missing a beat, the story bounces in and out of flashbacks, making each new setting as real as the story’s present. No matter what era they are in, Wofford skillfully adapts the affair between Rhiannon and Daniel’s counterparts to each particular setting. Snappy dialogue and the author’s habit of dropping readers in medias res keep Lifelines moving at a pleasing clip. 

Even so, some aspects of the book may jar readers. Near the end, the lovers’ past lives take a turn that seems inconsistent with previous reincarnations. This odd course of events opens up a new vista, but then leaves this possibility inadequately explored. Overall, however, Lifelines takes readers on a sweeping sexy psychic sojourn.

Jill Allen, Foreword Clarion Reviews, 129 ½ E. Front Street, Traverse City, MI  49684


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