Exhale and Reboot By Joss Landry

Candice Newman is a widow whose therapist tells her, after Candice confides she still sees and hears her deceased husband, that she needs to Exhale and Reboot.  While mourning the loss of her husband, she stays with her mother near the Chesapeake Bay.  She has a large family that includes her mother’s sister and her cousins one of whom; Lisa attends Johns Hopkins University where Candice had registered the prior spring for a degree in Graphic Design.     Her life changes the instant she steps foot onto campus.   In a series of seemingly random events she is instantly thrown head first into a large school project,  a missing person case, a possible love triangle and becomes a pawn in a campus wide wager.

Because Candice is new to campus she spends time with her cousin Lisa and her band of friends Marylyn, Sandy, Ike, Jake, Bob, Faye, and Richard.    She also quickly becomes entangled with two men whose motives for friendship are unclear from the beginning and then murkier still as they spend more time together.

The author does a wonderful job developing the story and weaving a large cast of characters throughout a variety of events from secret affairs, family drama’s large and small, breaking and entering, uncomfortable dinner dates, and the multiple surprise twists that clearly demonstrate most people are connected in ways they are not even aware of.

I enjoy a good mystery novel and I really love when I am surprised by the turn of events.  When a character is well written, they seem to come to life and Joss Landry does a great job here.  As I mentioned earlier there are quite a few characters in this story and I was able to easily picture them in my head.  The many people that comprise this story run the gamut of the human experience and I was a little surprised to discover that those I felt unsure of were the most upstanding and those I thought were trustworthy and honest were very far from either.   This made the story interesting, but it also gave me pause for reflection.   Things and people are not always what they seem and this book does a wonderful job capturing that.

This novel would be great for fans of mystery books mixed with a love story.