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Thunder on the Right [Mass Market Paperback]

Mary Stewart
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 4 2004

Artist Jennifer Silver has come to the picturesque, secluded Valley of the Storms in the French Pyrenees to meet with a young cousin who is about to enter the convent there -- only to discover that the young woman has died in a dreadful car accident. Or did she?

Lies abound in this strange and frighteningplace, but seeking the truth could lead Jenniferto her own violent death.

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A completely captivating story that never fails to grip the reader's attention Manchester Evening News One of the most stupendously successful authors ever Sunday Express There are few to equal Mary Stewart Daily Telegraph She set the bench mark for pace, suspense and romance - with a great dollop of escapism as the icing Elizabeth Buchan A comfortable chair and a Mary Stewart: total heaven. I'd rather read her than most other authors. Harriet Evans --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Mart Stewart is one of the most widely read fiction writers of our time. The author of twenty novels, a volume of poetry, and three books for young readers, she is admired for both her contemporary stories of romantic suspense and her historical novels. Born in England, she has lived for many years in Scotland.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Explosion of information & twists. Jan. 20 2013
By Carolyn TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've collected Mary Stewart for years but read her for the first time now, with "Thunder On The Right"! It is a treasured experience to listen to a new voice and this author's reputation precedes her. Briefer fiction isn't as fleeting as it appears because Mary's compounded description style is noticeable at once. Some sentences might serve better shortened; or with commas, semi-colons, and colons to divide and clarify heftier observations. However natural vistas leap to life vibrantly with an evocation of colour one can truly see. Conveyance of feeling, such as textbook gothic dread, is edgier and more unique than by any author I've known before.

I seem to have a knack for noticing an overused word and Mary surely could have selected synonyms in place of 'steady' occurring a hundred times in this novel. However her digressions leave room for humour; the ability to laugh at people being timeless between 1957 and now. Most importantly, cunning attention went into the development of this story and plot. The frenzy with which multiple threads race together is stunning.

'Jennifer' and 'Stephen' were university friends in England, whose dating didn't get off the ground before he enlisted in a war. She goes to France to visit her cousin 'Gillian', who was raised as her elder sister. Freshly discharged 'Stephen' joins the vacation in hopes of sparking the relationship. 'Jennifer' is told her cousin died but evidence arises that contradicts the news. Without knowing whom to trust or where to look, tracking events is tricky in itself but a physically taxing, movie-worthy adventure ensues as well. This is a book paced to perfection. At first it is slow enough to acquaint the characters and setting. It becomes an explosion of information, surprises, and twists that make this a story I won't forget.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stormy Locale Packs a Wallop Aug. 10 2002
By Diana F. Von Behren - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Perhaps because this is Mary Stewart's only narrative written in the third person, I thought "Thunder on the Right" ranked in the lower third when compared to the author's twenty other novels of romantic suspense. Upon re-reading it --actually listening to the Chiver's Unabridged audio, I realize it is just as well-crafted albeit sprinkled too liberally with adjectives as any of the other more well known Stewart titles.
In particular, without the compelling tell-all 1st person narrative usually facilitated by Stewart, the heroine of the tale, one Jennifer Silver, comes across as exactly what she is--a 22 year old with the scant experience of any young girl coming straight out of the sheltered privledged environment of upper class Briton--instead of the usual intrepid/curious/resourceful traveler of the other stories.
Here, Jennifer has traveled to the wild southwestern portion of France, where the Pyrenees form the country's natural boundary from Spain. Excited to meet up with her half-French cousin, Gillian, she is utterly shocked to encounter Stephen, a music student acquaintance of her father with whom she had a brief but platonic flirtation years prior to coming to France. As with the other Stewart novels, romance comes secondary, if not thirdly in importance when weighed against the circumstances of the mystery within the plotline. And here,it tends to be a little melodramatic--Stephen, the brooding musician reining in his feelings of passion for Jennie, and Jennie, herself, not even realizing what passion is.
Far better is the novel's main thrust--for when Jennie attempts to contact her cousin at the local convent where the half-French girl is deciding upon a religious vocation, Jennie discovers rather abruptly from the convent's bursar that her cousin has died and has been buried within the convent walls. Shocked but by no means mentally incapacitated, Jennie realizes that Dona Francisca's story does not make sense, as Jennie knows one or two things about her cousin that renders the explanation totally invalid. Here Jennifer takes the initiative as do all the Stewart heroines--hell bent to discover the truth with no thought to her own safety. The path she follows is a treacherous one, involving the bursar, her plans for the convent and illegal doings that make the locale's proximity to Spain extremely convenient.
If you have the opportunity, listen to the audio book, Harriet Walker's command of voices help convey the characters of each of the novel's persona with startling reality. This novel, I believe to be overlooked, but don't make that mistake, do read it and savor its passionate story--just undermine the romance.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Breathtaking suspense" Feb. 23 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"A highly charged romantic thriller" - New York Herald Tribune
The sheltered Oxford-raised, quiet and reserved young Jennifer Silver journeys to the High Pyrenees in search of her half-French cousin who has been recuperating in a convent. A WWII-wounded former student of her professor father and brilliant musician follows her there for his own personal reasons. Just as they are rejoined, they become caught up in intricate webs of danger and criminal intrigue.
From the back cover- "She had come to the convent - a brooding cluster of ancient buildings nestled deep in the wild upper reaches of the French Pyrenees - to find her young cousin, Gillian. But the Convent of Our Lady of the Storms was not like others. There was something strange and frightening about the place...something that gave off an aura of evil, of hidden, violent things...
They told her Gillian was dead, but she did not believe them. Searching for the truth meant trouble. She did not know, until too late, it also meant ...murder."
As always, Mary Stewart's settings are so spectacular and described in such detail that I can see, smell and touch as clearly as if I were there as well. It is because of this superb sense of detail that a half dozen reads may not even be enough.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense gothic suspense... July 28 2009
By CoffeeGurl - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jennifer Silver is a twenty-two-year-old, somewhat reclusive Oxford-bred woman (daughter of a distinguished professor) looking forward to her trip to the Southwest of France. She looks forward to a nice holiday, but she is also there to visit her cousin Gillian, a woman who is about to take her religious vows at a convent. Of course, everything goes wrong. For one thing, Jennifer is told that Gillian is dead, buried within the convent's grounds. This strange and unexpected news doesn't feel right in more ways than one. Things just don't add up. Is Gillian even dead? She will not leave the haunting convent until she uncovers the truth. In the meantime, there's Stephen, a brooding former student of her father's, a brilliant musician with some unresolved issues of his own...

At first, I had my doubts about Thunder on the Right. After all, it is Stewart's first romantic suspense novel I read with a third-person narrative. Her first-person novels are very well written and it took me a while to get used to this new and unexpected format. To be honest, it had a somewhat slow beginning. However, the more I read, the more I couldn't put it down. Mary Stewart is a great writer, regardless of the narrative style, period. There are many surprises, many twists, and Stewart adds her signature flavor to it all. As with the other novels, there is some romance in this, but, like all other novels I've read, it is not the central storyline. Romance takes a back seat every time in her stories in favor of the suspense and gothic atmosphere, something I love about this author. I very much enjoyed Thunder on the Right. This is one of Stewart's more underrated efforts, a sad thing, for I found it just as intriguing as her other books. Well, maybe not as good as The Ivy Tree or Madam, Will You Talk?, but definitely worth getting into. If you're a fan of this author, do not make the mistake of overlooking this one. She is quickly becoming a must-read-all-of-her-backlist author, replacing the wonderful Daphne du Maurier, whose books I have devoured for the past couple of years or so.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Mary Stewart Oct. 14 2013
By Gillian S - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am rediscovering her again as well as Helen McInnes. I read them all in the 60's. They are both terrific.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite July 1 2009
By Loves to Knit - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The only Mary Stewart mystery-romance book written in the third person left me wishing she'd written it in the first person. The suspense was too mitigated by use of the third person, and the overall premise weak (maybe it was plausible years ago but not now). Certainly, not in league with "Madam Will You Talk?" After 50 years, that book is still as suspenseful as when I first read it.
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