In Mary Ellen Bramwell’s The Apple of My Eye, Brea Cass leads an idyllic life until her husband is killed in a convenience store robbery. It takes her some time to come to terms with the fact that Paul, her husband, is gone, she begins questioning the official story of what happened that night. The more she probes, the more discrepancies she uncovers, which only leads to more questions, the biggest of which is: was Paul truly an innocent in the event that lead to his untimely death?
I was hooked on The Apple of My Eye from the start. Bramwell’s prose reads like a memoir, adding to the the verisimilitude of the story. Brea is likeable as a sympathetic character made strong by the murder of her husband, the support of her family and friends, and her desire for her son to think of her husband as a hero. Though somewhat of a sleeper at the start, the narrative picks up speed, switching to full-throttle once Brea begins to uncover the seedier side of her husband. It’s her self-conflict, wondering if she ever really knew her husband at all, that keeps the story moving, and I found myself almost as curious as Brea to get to the roots of Paul’s facade.
The Apple of My Eye begins as a love story and finishes as a mystery-thriller that doesn’t disappoint. Bramwell’s writing is error-free, which helps the smooth narrative. Though the dialogue is stilted in places, Brea seems more real than constructed character, which is testimony to Bramwell’s writing ability. The suspense propels the narrative forward, as it should. The last half of the novel is a page-turner, unlike any I’ve read in a long time. I urge readers to take a chance on The Apple of My Eye; you won’t be disappointed.