A finely tuned and well-orchestrated suspense novel: My Review of Sound of Red Returning

Publisher: Kregel Publications (January 1, 2012

About the book:

After losing everyone she loves, concert pianist Liesl Bower has nowhere to go but to escape into her music. Searching for the peace she usually finds in her concertos and sonatas, Liesl can’t shake the feeling that she is being haunted by her past . . . and by someone following her. When she spots a familiar and eerie face in the audience of a concert she’s giving for the president in Washington, DC, the scariest day of her life comes back to her with a flash. It has been fifteen years since Liesl watched her beloved Harvard music mentor assaulted on a dark night in Moscow and just as long since the CIA disclosed to her that he’d been spying for Russia. She had seen that man--that eerie face--the night Professor Devoe was attacked. And now he’s back--and coming for her.

On the run and struggling to rely on the protection of CIA agent Ava Mullins and handsome newspaper reporter Cade O’Brien, Liesl learns she is the prey of an underground cell of Russian KGB agents determined to restore their country to its former Soviet might. But what she doesn’t know is that she is in possession of something--a piece of sheet music--that Russian intelligence is now frantic to find. Inside that music is a secret code, the hidden transcriptions of her deceased mentor, that clearly identify a Russian mole operating inside Israel’s Department of Defense, a mole with enough power and access to execute a daring assassination that no one would see coming.

Caught in a deadly conflict between American and Russian undercover agents, this innocent young pianist is just trying to survive her own personal trauma. Through it all, Liesl must learn that no matter how dark her world grows or how fiercely her enemies pursue her, God is still in control--if only she can yield herself to His grace. Read an excerpt here: http://www.sueduffybooks.com/#!vstc1=books


A finely tuned and well-orchestrated suspense novel, The Sound of Red Returning held me spellbound from the opening chapter. The suspense is faced-paced, and the book drew me in early with the search for the coded message and the global implications of a Russian power-play. Liesl is a complex character who you cannot help feel empathy for as her life is unveiled layer by layer, and she held me spellbound during her race from the enemy forces drawing in around her. I myself am a piano player, and so reading a story featuring a remarkable pianist made this book extra enjoyable for me. I also loved it when characters Cade, and his "Pop" (grandfather) were brought into the story, for they brought in a depth that added extra richness to the story. Most appreciated, the story's faith elements are woven naturally into the story, bringing to life the power of God's presence and the beauty of His grace. I loved the line uttered by Cade when he and Liesl are sitting on the dock in the dark of night, when he says "But it was God who saved me from myself". It is, indeed, only God who can save us from our own destructive desires and choices and bring good out of the bad.

I have never had the pleasure of reading a mystery from Sue Duffy before, but I will certainly be returning for book 2 in this excellent series. I highly recommend this book and grant it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book provided courtesy of the publisher and Litfuse Publicity Group, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

About the author:

Sue Duffy is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in Moody Magazine, The Presbyterian Journal, Sunday Digest, and The Christian Reader. She is the author of Mortal Wounds (Barbour, 2001) and Fatal Loyalty (Kregel, 2010). Sue has also contributed to Stories for a Woman’s Heart (Multnomah). She and her husband, Mike, have three grown children.

Win a Kindle Fire from @SueDuffy2 and @KregelBooks in the "Red Returning" Giveaway!

Sue Duffy and her publisher, Kregel Publications, are celebrating the release of The Sound of Red Returning by giving away a Kindle Fire prize package worth over $200 to one lucky winner!!!! (1/23-2/11)

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* A brand new Kindle Fire with Wi-Fi

* The Sound of Red Returning (Book One in the Red Returning series) by Sue Duffy

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  1. Thank you for your remarks. It is fuel as I write book two in the trilogy.

    Sue Duffy


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