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Desperate Paths

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In Eden, the truth can have deadly consequences.

Brooklyn Anderson knows it looks bad. She was found wiping down a gun. Her father now dead. His blood on her hands. The incomprehensible nightmare has started.

Seven days earlier, Brooklyn had returned to Eden to care for her beloved father, who lay helpless in a hospital bed. Her estranged sister, Ginny, said he fell. But as Brooklyn soon realizes, Ginny is prone to lying.

Former Eden resident Darius Woods was in the hospital too. The famous actor had written a screenplay that would lay bare all the secrets of the town, but within hours of his return, someone shot him.

As the Woods investigation proceeds, and Brooklyn starts to question everything she believes about her family, her neighbors, and her home, secrets and lies begin to unravel. But nothing can prepare her for where those lies will finally lead.

And sharing the truth of what happened the night her father died might just make things worse.

336 pages, Paperback

First published March 19, 2019

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About the author

E.C. Diskin

5 books318 followers
E.C. Diskin studied Radio/TV/Film and English in Texas (TCU), moved to New York to dance with a tap dance company in Soho, and finally became "an adult" when she moved to Chicago for law school. But after several years behind a desk, a drawer full of story ideas, and two little ones at home, she took a break from the law and began writing fiction. Fortunately, the fantasy of living a creative life became reality with the success of her debut legal thriller, The Green Line. Her second, Broken Grace, ventured into psych thrillers. Her third, Depth of Lies, dove into the veneers and secrets behind the closed doors of suburbia, and her latest, Desperate Paths, centers on one small town’s unraveling as secrets, lies, sex, guns, and extremists collide.
When she's not writing, designing spaces, or building furniture, she practices a little law on the side.

For more information, check out www.ecdiskin.com
Connect with Diskin at www.facebook.com/ECDiskin

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5 stars
274 (36%)
4 stars
288 (38%)
3 stars
152 (20%)
2 stars
28 (3%)
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5 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 95 reviews
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,130 reviews3,714 followers
February 16, 2019
Brooklyn left her quaint, small town in the Midwest for the bright lights of New York City! She’s hoping for that one big break that will launch her into the movie/TV industry. But while she’s busy chasing her star, she receives a call from her sister Ginny that their father broke his hip. Putting her dreams on hold, Brooklyn quickly returns home to help.

She isn’t the only one to return home. Darius Woods was a local kid who also had the dream of being a star, and his dream came true! A top listed movie star.
His return home is stopped short when someone makes an attempt on his life. Who would try to kill the one shining star this small town has ever produced? Maybe more importantly...why?

This is the third book I’ve read by E.C. Diskin and while I absolutely loved her previous book Depth of Lies, this one just didn’t work for me. I struggled through most of it and considered a DNF more than once. The fact that I’ve enjoyed this author’s writing in the past was the only reason I chose to finish.

If this book is on your shelf...or even on your radar, I hope it works out better for you!

Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and E.C. Diskin for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lindsay L.
679 reviews1,325 followers
March 21, 2019
2 stars. Too much drama for me!

Brooklyn Anderson returns to her hometown of Eden to help care for her aging father who is in the hospital. While there, she reconnects with her estranged sister Ginny who needs helps caring for their father. Darius Woods is a famous actor who grew up in Eden and recently returned with a screenplay and many hidden secrets from his past. Darius is shot and taken to the same hospital as Brooklyn’s father within hours of his return to town.

This novel takes place over a seven day period, starting at Day Seven, moving to Day One and then the days in between. I was intrigued with how it started at the conclusion of the story which kept me wondering what lead to such a drastic situation.

After the first half of the book, the drama kicked into high gear and I completely lost any sort of connection I had. I ended up skimming quite a bit toward the very end because there was so much dramatic effect. Unfortunately, this novel simply wasn’t for me. With that being said, I loved this author’s previous novel, The Depth of Lies, so I would be interested to see what she comes out with in the future.

This was a Traveling Sister read.

Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and E.C. Diskin for providing me with an ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.7k followers
December 22, 2019
Entertaining, unputdownable and an intriguing read!

DESPERATE PATHS by E.C. DISKIN is jam-packed full of family secrets and lies and as the story progresses they just keep on coming with lots of twists and turns to be had here. For some the overzealous plot and drama might be a little too much to handle but for me I totally embraced and loved it all. In fact, I finished reading this one in less than 24 hours as I just could not put it down.

E.C. DISKIN’S delivers an interesting, tense and well-written read here that gradually increases in tension and offers a suspenseful twisty plot with complex characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the structure of this story and it had me hooked right from the very first chapter.

So this is where things went a little sideways for both Lindsay and Brenda where I thought that E.C. DISKIN did a fabulous job with creating little intricate pieces of puzzles for us to ponder from the story while sleuthing how they fit together when in reality I don’t think being an armchair detective works out well for this one. Although, I had lots of guesses and some of those guesses came to fruition I was never confident in saying that I knew the why or how of pretty much everything that came to pass.

This was a Traveling Sisters read that I read along with Brenda and Lindsay and out of the three of us I was the only one that really enjoyed this one.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Eerie, suspenseful, eye-catching and a great representation to storyline.
Title: Intriguing, interesting and totally could feel the desperation emanating from the different paths that these characters took.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, entertaining, engaging and readable.
Plot: Complex, interesting, dramatic, thought-provoking, fast-paced, twisty, and entertaining.
Ending: Twisty, surprising, neat and totally satisfying. With the complex nature of this story and all the twists and turns I really appreciated the neat and concise ending.
Overall: This was a fun, entertaining,and enjoyable read that I thoroughly enjoyed the escape! Would recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Thomas and Mercer & E. C. Diskin for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.

Review can also be found on our blog:
March 27, 2019

Small town, dark secrets and lies, murder charge, a shooting and some sister drama.

Desperate Paths send me down a desperate path of my own. A head-spinning path I didn’t know what direction to go path but in the end, it didn’t really matter because every path took you to the end. There was just that much drama going on here.

Now this one did have some drama that I must admit I enjoy and that’s sister drama. I have been known to create a little sister drama myself that has left Norma’s head spinning. lol Did I just say that? lol I enjoyed the dynamics here between these sisters and the tension created between them added to the story for me. However, there was a little too much overall drama that came on very quickly and my head started to spin and I became desperate to finish.

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Thomas and Mercer & E. C. Diskin for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this book.

Our review can be found on our blog
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,024 reviews15.7k followers
March 19, 2019
A compelling domestic thriller brimming with secrets and lies!

E. C. Diskin has crafted a tale packed with complicated relationships and complex characters. This was a slow burning story about a dysfunctional family with many secrets and even more to lose. How would you feel if the life you knew turned out to be a complete lie?

Brooklyn Anderson, returns home to small town Eden Illinois, after receiving a phone call from her sister that their father was in the hospital. Brooklyn has been in New York pursuing her career as an actress. The trip home seems all too familiar, she was just home a few months ago after the death of her mother, and now her father has been hospitalized. Her father took a fall and broke his hip, and thank goodness her sister Ginny showed up at the house in time to take him to the hospital. The thing is, Ginny‘s stories aren’t adding up and Brooklyn has a lot of questions to ask the sister she has never really gotten along with. The more Brooklyn digs into the past the more questions she has, how could her loving family have so much to hide? Another Eden Citizen has returned home who has written a movie script and is ready to lay all the town’s secrets bare. Just like a row of dominoes after one secret is revealed the rest of them slowly and sometimes painfully are revealed as well.

Brooklyn was such a likable character there was something about her that really drew me in. I was right there by her side throughout this book squeezing her hand every time she learns something she didn’t already know. The storytelling in this book was exceptional and the characters were tremendously well drawn. This was not A crazy twisted edge of your seat type book. It was a well told story about a family and a town’s secrets and how they impacted the lives of so many. It was about a secret leads to a lie leads to another secret leads to another lie, it is a snowball effect with no end. And ultimately it will consume and destroy you. This is one of those books that captivated me from first page to last! Recommend!

*** many thanks to E. C. Diskin for my copy of this book ***
Profile Image for DeAnn.
1,359 reviews
March 29, 2019
3 stars to this chock-full-of-deception tale

Brooklyn is living her dream life in New York, auditioning and waiting to make it big in acting. Then she gets a message from her estranged sister Ginny that their Dad is in the hospital. Brooklyn races home to the small Midwest town where she grew up.

This one is told in two timelines, as the book opens Brooklyn is in jail and then the other chapters fill us in on her life and what has led up to this point. This one is full of twists, secrets, and drama and it was a bit hard to keep track of it all. There are equally complex subplots: racism, blind faith and trust in the church, teen pregnancy, and police looking the other way for friends in town.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this one, it just didn’t quite work for me.

Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer, and E.C. Diskin for a copy to read and review.
Profile Image for Kimberly Belle.
Author 18 books4,160 followers
February 8, 2019
EC Diskin shines in her latest Desperate Paths, a suspenseful, tightly plotted story of sisters, betrayals, and secrets buried close to home. Diskin doesn’t shy away from hard subjects, and she deftly weaves her tale with an unflinching examination of social issues. A page-turner with an important message.
Profile Image for Adrian Dooley.
377 reviews110 followers
March 4, 2019
3.5 stars marked up to 4.

The story of Brooklyn Anderson, a young budding actress from the small town of Eden who now lives in New York, and her rather dysfunctional family who still reside in Eden.

When Brooklyn gets a message from her estranged older sister Ginny that their father is in hospital after having an accident.

Returning to Eden to see how her father is, she soon realizes that all may not be as it seems. She realizes that Ginny is lying to her and her father is also harboring secrets.

When an ex student of the school that Brooklyn went to in Eden, now a famous actor, returns to film a new film about his life growing up in Eden, he soon ends up in hospital as well after being shot. His script reveals so many secrets about the town and its residence, secrets that have been kept for years, and there are many people who dont want those secrets to come out.

I enjoyed this one. It did feel like it bit off a bit more than it could chew, trying to cram in a lot of topics into the one story - clerical abuse, racism, religious fanaticism to name a few.
Despite that the story is strong enough to forgive its over ambition.

3.5 stars rounded up to 4 due to the strength of the storytelling.

Thanks to Netgalley, Thomas & Mercer and E.C. Diskin for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Laura Rash Wonderchick.
1,308 reviews147 followers
February 23, 2019
Intricate family drama with a bit of mystery that comes to a head with a few twists that had me backtrack to make sure I read it right. Reminiscent of Heather Gudenkauf and Kimberly Belle. Unique and intriguing!
Thanks to the author for this early copy:)
Profile Image for Tracy.
492 reviews
July 2, 2020
I did not expect the twists that came near the end of this book. I was listening to it on audible and I am pretty sure I was sitting there with my mouth open when the twists were revealed. This book may be an uncomfortable read for some, you have abortion, racism, sexual misconduct by a church figure and drug abuse. But I really thought it was so good and quite relevant to the current affairs. I live in a small town, I grew up in a small town. So for the first part of this book I felt like it could have taken place here. And if you are from a small town you know how things can be, especially with everyone knowing everyone else. It was well written and the narrators did a great job with the audio. I am really glad I have been taking advantage of all these free audible narration books on Prime. I have been pleasantly surprised by books that I may not have given a second glance.
Profile Image for Kimberly Young.
346 reviews6 followers
March 5, 2019
Desperate Paths by E.C. Diskin is full of secrets and lies! Brooklyn is a young woman in her early 20's and trying to make it as an actress in New York City. She is from a small town and was adopted by her religious parents while they were on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. She has an older sister Ginny who is married with 2 kids. Ginny and Brooklyn have never been close. Brooklyn receives a text from Ginny that their dad has fallen and is in the hospital and showing signs of dementia. She rushes back home to be with her dad, very upset because their mom just recently died of cancer. This is when Brooklyn's world gets split wide open. She starts finding out her life and past aren't what she thought. Ginny's world and marriage is falling apart also. By the time this story is finished no one is who/what you thought they were! Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Bonnye Reed.
4,237 reviews73 followers
March 24, 2019
Desperate Paths is a very complex mystery, shadowed with family dysfunctions, virulent addictions, and dishonorable clergy. That said, it's a very interesting read, hard to put aside to fit your daily life around the story. I should be rototilling the garden....

Brooklyn is about 20 with Hollywood stars in her eyes, living for about a year in an NYC walkup with several other aspiring actors despite her father's disappointment that college was not for her. Adopted as a baby born in the Dominican Republic after John and Bonnie's sole chick was grown, Brooklyn never had much of a relationship with her sibling Ginny. Their mother Bonnie passed with cancer about six months ago, and Ginny texts Brooklyn to come home to Eden, Illinois as their father is now in the hospital with a broken hip and lacerated head after taking a fall at home.

Home is not what Brooklyn expected, and the secrets creeping out of the woodwork are overwhelming. Why is Ginny telling lies? Is John really deeply into dementia? Did Ginny really have a relapse into alcoholism after 13 years sober? Who shot the abortion clinic Doctor all those years ago? Who shot actor Darius Woods last week as he was visiting his father? Who has read Darius' play about his high school days in Eden? Will Ginny be able to get her life back under her control? Whoever said living in a small town was simple?

Desperate Paths was a gift from author E.C.Diskin and publisher Thomas & Mercer through the Netgalley program, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.

pub date March 19, 2019
Profile Image for Hannah McKinnon.
Author 8 books1,420 followers
March 8, 2020
Intrigue, originality, suspense and with characters that felt so real they could have strolled up to me and introduced themselves without it feeling odd...this book had all that and so much more. E.C. Diskin wove a masterful small-town tale of lies and deceit, hatred and forgiveness, all the while addressing important social issues head-on. This is a story I won't be forgetting any time soon.
Profile Image for Jacqui.
238 reviews3 followers
March 31, 2019
Desperate Paths is a standalone thriller which journeys into betrayal, racism, abuse, abortion and misguided parental teachings.

Brooklyn’s dad was a shining light in her life. She came to see him a week ago after her sister, Ginny, let her know that he had fallen and broken a hip. So why now, a week later, is she sitting in a police cell after being found wiping a gun and standing over his body?

Eden is a good, clean town guided by the morals and teachings of religion and Pastors like Gary who want nothing more than to let loose decent, upstanding teenagers into the world. So, it’s proper that the community turn on the local abortion clinic and kill a doctor, right? Well, no one knows exactly who did it, but you don’t hear any complaints.

Darius Woods is a boy who left Eden and made it big in the world of showbiz. He has now returned to see his father and brought with him a manuscript for a movie he has written about some of the residents and happenings in Eden. The names have been changed to protect people, but if this gets out, no one will be safe from the repercussions. Darius is shot shortly after arriving back in Eden—was this a case of racism, which is still rife in this town, or someone willing to do whatever it takes to save their name from being exposed in the manuscript?

The web of lies is being held together by a thread which is threatening to snap. If it starts to unravel, who knows what will be exposed. Eden is not the paradise it claims to be, after all...

This book is really busy, with a lot of storylines and intermingled timelines and I enjoyed it tremendously. I was literally just going one more chapter, one more chapter and I’ll go to sleep! You are introduced to Brooklyn who was adopted as a baby from the Dominican Republic and never quite accepted at school or by her older sister. As she starts questioning Ginny’s story about her dad’s accident and sees how Ginny is relying more and more on alcohol, she begins to realise that something is not adding up. The author takes you on the journey of her anguish through what she believes to be true now might not be and jumps back and forth in time in the story from the day she is arrested to the week prior when she comes home. This makes filling in the blanks like a treasure hunt where the reader is only fed tiny nibbles of the clues until Pandora’s Box opens and secrets start spilling out in a tsunami.

There are so many questions that just as quickly as they are answered lead to more questions and very often you find yourself liking a character and are then shown who they really are and land up hating them. It goes to show how often we make assumptions based on one trusted person’s opinion when there are a number of people warning us off but we won’t listen. The secondary characters all played pivotal roles, from a cop who wants to help out a friend by manipulating the rules of justice to a husband who is so self-involved that the world constantly lets him down as nothing can meet his standards.

I really appreciated the level of editing in the book as there were no mistakes in grammar and punctuation that interrupted the flow of reading and you were left to just devour each page as it went by. To be picky, there are one or two scenes that seem a little far-fetched even in the context of the story, but without them, the bigger picture wouldn’t be what it is, I guess. You will most certainly find yourself wanting to fly through the book in order to see where the story ends.

The themes in the story are deep, and if you are a person who is easily offended by stories involving abuse in the church, racism and abortion then take this as a warning before you decide to start to read. If you can read it for the sake of reading a great story, then jump right in; the highs and lows will have you questioning decisions and actions and sometimes just outright shaking your head. I highly recommend this book.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to review Desperate Paths.

Profile Image for Anya.
455 reviews20 followers
June 28, 2020
4.5 stars. A very good psychological thriller, but I think I've read too many books in the same genre, so it's difficult to suprise me anymore. Recommended because it's well written, a very quick and entertaining read, and maybe it will even suprise someone who's read less books of that genre.
The characterization was ok, but the shining side of the book was the compelling story. I don't agree with people who said there is too much packed up in there.. it all lead to the same point...it makes sense.. no strange coincidence there, absurd but believable at the same time.
Profile Image for Jill Orr.
Author 7 books130 followers
March 20, 2019
Loved this book! I picked it up not knowing what to expect and was immediately drawn in by the structure of the story (the author plays with time, 7 days in the past/future). As I read, I thought I knew where the story was going, but then wasn't so sure... then I was... then I wasn't again. The suspense kept building and I'll admit I did not see the final twist coming at all - I love it when that happens! Would definitely recommend this book if you like twisty plots and complex characters.
Profile Image for Lisa West.
6 reviews2 followers
March 27, 2019
Full of suspense

This book was a page turner from the get go. So many twists and turns that just when you think you figured it out there’s another curve. I enjoyed it and will try other books from this author.
Profile Image for Eszter Felei.
317 reviews2 followers
May 23, 2021
Me ha gustado mucho sobre todo porque no he visto venir todos los giros nuevos y porque el ritmo ha sido constante.
Profile Image for Lisa.
33 reviews3 followers
August 10, 2021
So much repetition.... editors did a lousy job w/ this one. Story had a lot of potential. But the execution of it was painful. The inner dialogue of the main character was torturous, exacerbated by the the whiny tone of the female narrator. Bad voice acting... just whining. Ugh. I barely got through this audio version.
Profile Image for Bridget.
2,789 reviews107 followers
June 16, 2019
"Desperate Paths" was packed full of family secrets and lies. I loved and totally embraced the plot and drama within the novel. E.C. Diskin delivered an intriguing, well-written and entertaining read that gradually increased in tension and suspense. The complex characters were masterfully drawn and I thought the structure of this story was immensely enjoyable. I was hooked right from the very first chapter.

For me, E.C. Diskin did very well creating intricate pieces of puzzles to ponder over. but being an armchair sleuth didn't work out well for me. I had a go at guessing, but I never knew the why or how of pretty much anything until the fulfilling and neat ending.

Overall, this novel was a fun, entertaining and enjoyable read that I would certainly recommend.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
Profile Image for Heather.
339 reviews10 followers
February 11, 2019
Many thanks to the author for an ARC of this book!

WOW, so many secrets and definitely desperate paths!! Diskin tackled some tough, uncomfortable topics in this books. I felt she developed the storyline well and was happy how she wrapped up the subject matter. I had some guesses on what was going to happen but there were definitely twists towards the end that had me realizing there were still so many secrets to be found. There were many emotions while reading this. I wouldn't consider this book a "thriller" as some have labeled it but that being said it's definitely suspenseful and keeps you turning the page! I will continue to read Diskin's books.
Profile Image for Tracy Cavanah.
169 reviews1 follower
February 4, 2019
Brooklyn Anderson knows it looks bad. She was found wiping down a gun. His blood on her hands. Her father now dead. The incomprehensible nightmare has started

Thank you to net galley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this book it was a great experience. A real page turner first time reading anything from this author
Profile Image for Alesha Cary.
377 reviews5 followers
June 3, 2020
I listened to the audio version of this book while painting, so I finished it pretty quickly. While I liked Broken Grace by E C Diskin a lot, this novel was just very “okay.” The character development was problematic and uneven in a lot of places, and the characterization of small town religious people was a bit one dimensional. (I am a small town religious person. I’m aware of the faults and failings of said community. But when every pastor is touchy with the young ladies and no one in the small town stands up for the good, Eh.)

Quick plot summation: Aspiring actress Brooklyn returns home to Eden when her estranged sister Ginny calls to tell her their Dad has fallen and is in the hospital. She finds her Dad forgetful and her sister typically distant, giving conflicting stories about what happened the night Dad fell. While visiting her Dad, she runs into another Dad at the hospital visiting his son Darius Woods, the hometown-boy-turned-superstar. He is writing a movie about growing up in Eden, and someone shot him! What happened to Dad? Will Darius survive? What’s going on with Ginny? Will she have to give up her dreams of big city acting?

The Good: The premise was sort of interesting? It could have gone places.

The Eh: The author is writing this as a retrospective of 1999, but some of the plotting would put it squarely 30 years earlier, deeply entrenched in the Civil Rights movement. It also appears that the community has not changed ethnically at all in the 27 years between 1999 and 2016. That is unrealistic no matter what part of the country you’re in.

The Ugly: The inconsistencies in the characters are simply incredible, meaning I can’t believe they are people. Yes, people are complicated... but some of this just strains credulity. Why does every male character appear (except Darius maybe) to be a Jekyll/Hyde combo? Why is Eddie even in this story? And in this small town, not a soul noticed the similarities of Brooklyn to her parents, both the famous and the not?

In the end, that was the problem I couldn’t get past. These didn’t read like real, complicated people. They read like real complicated plot devices, and that is hard to love. I finished it. It gets a 2.5 for interest, but I didn’t really enjoy the ride.

Since these reviews are mostly to help me remember these books in 3 or 30 years when I’m trying to recall the details... don’t scroll or read the bullet points unless you e finished the book. 😁


Pastor Gary raped Ginny.
He also “rescued” her from some trouble.
Darius rescued her “way back” in 1999.
They fell in love. She got pregnant.
Dad and Mom were appalled.
Dad threatened Darius.
Ginny has the baby (Brooklyn).
Her parents rear the baby claiming to have adopted her on a mission trip.
Ginny is a mess, gets institutionalized, marries Simon.
Simon is infertile.
She goes to Gary. He fathers her kids. (What the...)
Ginny starts drinking again when Darius returns.
Simon wants a divorce and custody of the kids.
Ginny knows the truth has to come out.
She confronts everybody.
Brooklyn figures out the totally obvious mystery.
Dad reveals Mom shot the clinic doctor back in the day.
Her motive is vaguely about abortion. Maybe.
True love triumphs. Happy ending. Sure...
I’m still not sure who shot who.
By the end, I did not care.

After reading that list, I’m thinking LMN may come calling for this script...

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for M.
1,396 reviews
April 13, 2019
Not an easy book to read. Why? Racism, abortion, pedophilia, sexism, religious doctrinaire

This book is well-written and the storyline complex with clever twists. The murder mystery and a minimalist police procedural are the story’s backbone—from which hang several twisted side plots, already discussed by other reviewers. The book’s structure is a riff on the overly-popular flashing backward/forward in time method—which I tolerate but am not fond of.

The setting is a small town in southern Illinois where Baptist churches are the center of life, the grocery store sells guns and ammo, and families seem perfect. Religion and churches figure heavily, so expect lectures, homilies, and biblical quotes.

The characters are well-developed and many are likable, but some are difficult to identify with. Racism confronts, threatens and even kills people of color. Chauvinistic attitudes toward women are rife; churchgoers lie to the FBI to protect a young congregant; a teen considers abortion; and ministers are involved in pedophilia and blackmail.

This book has drama and feels to spare, because social/societal observations about the insular community are woven into the story. Dysfunctional families pervert values/morals with self-serving hypocrisy. Harmful lies are perpetuated to maintain facades of family perfection. Self-righteousness justifies/excuses horrific acts.

A man of God says: “when someone’s ideology was under attack, when that person believes in the righteousness of his actions, and his entire belief system supports it, it doesn’t matter what the law says. To that person, it’s a moral war, and every war has casualties.” Yes, really.
“Good, kind, churchgoing folks” support a white deputy who was acquitted after he shot a black man, reminiscent of the Philando Castile case. Some are unbothered that doctors who work at abortion clinics are murdered. They shrug at the mass murders of homosexuals in Orlando.

The ending is overly long, but all the threads are tied off.

Warning to animal lovers: a man stands behind two 6-7 year-old girls playing in his backyard and shoots a deer on his property. Yes, it’s to make a point, but I felt horrible for the traumatized girls.

Profile Image for Lisa.
145 reviews
August 7, 2021
At first, I didn't think I was going to like it. I really didn't want to read story about racial, religious and social conflicts, there's just too much of that going on these days and when I read, I do it to escape not to read my life out loud. I do know those conflicts exist and I know they need to be addressed but sometimes you want to just take a break from it all. I wanted a simple, suspenseful story. I was surprised to find myself wanting to read more after each chapter. I originally thought I was going to really dislike the older sister Ginny but as her story unfolds, I have to say she became my favorite. I felt a lot of pain for her and oddly enough the sister I thought I was going to like the most - Brooklyn, I ended up liking the least of the two, not the least of the characters though, by far, Pastor Greg was the worst and I'm not a big fan of Simon either! There were some twists that I certainly didn't see coming until right before they were told and what I had predicted wasn't always the case. Yes, the story touches racial, religious and social conflicts and it wasn't the read I was looking for at the moment but I am really glad I kept with this one and finished it. It was well worth it and I would recommend it.
Profile Image for Mindo'ermatter.
444 reviews9 followers
November 7, 2019
Strong Plot---Great Storytelling!

Bought this book by accident, but choose to read it as an adventure. I was not disappointed.

From the publisher's summary, I didn't know what to expect, but I got hooked quickly and enjoyed the fast ride to the surprising finish.

The main characters were easy to like despite their obvious flaws and many secrets, and I found myself immersed in the story while pulling for everyone to be on the right side of things. The author's skill with misdirection had me suspecting almost everyone on the wrong side as the plotline was revealed. Lots of suspenseful twists and jolts along the ways as facts emerge and everything starts fitting together.

It was a fast, fun read when you need an escape from everything else.

I had never read Diskin before, but I plan to read more stories by this skillful author and her imaginative tales of mystery. The Audible narration uses multiple readers able to add drama and interest to the reading experience.

So glad for happy accidents that led me to enjoy this unusual novel.
Profile Image for Stephanee Merino.
25 reviews1 follower
May 1, 2020
The plot of this story is what attracted me to it.
It’s a great read!

Brooklyn things she knows everything about her family except for why her sister and father doesn’t get along. Her sister calls her home because her father is ill. Once she gets there she starts to notice everything is not as it should be. She starts to poke around. All her questions Sean to only create more questions. Her sister is avoiding her, her Dad tried to apologize but for what for she doesn’t know and her sister isn’t telling. About the same time she shows up back in town so does a famous actor who is from their small town. She has brought a script for a movie he wants to make about their town. The movie will shed light on some very well hidden secrets. The actor is shot, Brooklyn’s father is dead. Are they connected? If you wanna know I guess you’ll have to read the book. I highly recommend it. The ending is now what you would expect.
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223 reviews1 follower
April 16, 2019
Interesting Plot, Uninspired Prose

This reader gives Diskin high marks on plot and a mediocre grade on her writing style. Perhaps she's writing for a young demographic? Her sentences skew strongly toward short and simple and she seldom uses words with more than three syllables. Although I read the book entirely through because Diskin kept me interested in where the emerging twists and turns in her story would wind up, her prose was disappointingly sparse, even flat. I've read one other book by this author I liked much better, so I know she can produce more nuanced writing. Even so, I enjoyed following this tale to its intriguing end and can recommend it to those who appreciate stories about confused but essentially good people who get caught up in traps of their own clumsy making.
67 reviews3 followers
April 23, 2019
This was my first time reading E.C. Diskin's work, and I'm definitely going to go back and read her other books. I love finding a new author!
Desperate Paths is the story of Brooklyn Anderson and her return to hometown Eden, a place she'd left to pursue an acting career in New York City. Her sister Ginny calls her home when their father falls and is hospitalized with a broken hip. Unanswered questions about her father's fall and her sister's evasiveness tell Brooklyn that she's going to have to figure out what happened on her own. Family secrets and lies from the past make this a compelling read. Just when you think you have solved one mystery, another twist will make you read on. I highly recommend this book!

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