Itsy Bitsy Spider by Kimberly Shursen ~ 2014

Those in power have one goal: maintaining a squeaky clean image – whatever it takes.

Author: Kimberly Shursen
Publisher: CreateSpace (February 26, 2014)
Publication: February, 26, 2014
Pages: 306
Language: English
Jacket design:
Author photographer:

Read for my pleasure

5 Stars

Kimberly Shursen
I have read a couple of Kimberly Shursen's novels before and a taste for her debut settled on my taste-buds after reading her novel Conviction, and let me tell you, it was extremely tasty.

Tasty enough to dive into seconds with her second novel, Hush.  After I finish that read, I'll let you know what I think.   I believe it should satisfy me until her next amazingly tasty read comes off her imagination.  Kimberly Shursen crafted a phenomenal debut folks.  Period.  With an exclamation point. 

Itsy Bitsy Spider (damn arachnids) starts off:

... three weeks before ~

Boston Globe reporter Matt Christenson is on the phone with Claire McCallin, step-daughter to the Boston Mayor Jack McCallin, trying to update the news on Theodore Johnson  -  the missing lawyer and friend of the mayor's family.  After stating she did not know anything about it, Matt couldn't get an answer to his next question  -  she'd hung up.

Just before finishing his editing on the next one, his cell rang.  "Look at me, Mommy."  Matt heard faintly and pressed the phone firmly against his ear.  No one answered when he asked if anyone was there.  Another day as a reporter.  Personally, that was a hook for me to grab the next page.

Story goes that Claire's husband, James Dougherty, is killed in the war, and then, this lawyer goes missing.  Jamie Tessman, Matt's fearless co-worker and best fact-finder the Globe has, had filled in the back story for him.  Jamie scratches her elbow  -  something in Claire's life just doesn't add up.

Matt digs.  Let's turn a page here, because here's a twist that makes Matt scratch his own elbow.  And on top of that, Claire has been holding on to a secret for the last twenty years.  A secret, once known  -  bad things happen.

The story moves, so will my review ~

Matt devises a plan and at times, had to on the whim, to get to the bottom of this with all these beautifully described characters.  He helps Claire and her daughter Lizzie escape.  With characters in play, everyone has an agenda and their destinies through the story is vivid as hell.  Remmie Bradford, the house-keeper for the McCallin's was my favorite character.  Her destiny is in a good spot.

Isolated Claire Marie McCallin-Dougherty seemed to me as an aloof character to reality of a few things and I've said to myself as I read, "Claire, c'mon!"  Beautifully written character Ms. Shursen.  After a few murders, I'm so glad she just had enough!

From Bill Kizer, editor-in-chief at the Globe and all his kickbacks and bonuses from the mayor, the thugs - that at times do get the job done, and everyone connected to keep Claire's secret a secret has brought you, the reader, into the midst of it all.

Rachel, Katherine and Andrew Samuelson, Hank and Jamie Farber, Maxwell McCallin and his wife Cynthia, and of course Elizabeth, granddaughter to 65 year old mayor Jack McCallin, even the police  -  all these characters give an exciting tribute to your future suspenseful anticipations.

Jennifer Samuelson, Matt's neighbor from across the hall, has a beautiful role in this tale. She is a lady wanting nothing more than to be normal and be just like you instead of ....

Ms. Shursen brings you some great history as you read about Boston and its surroundings.  Architecture of buildings and bridges and Harvard and Cambridge and the St. Charles River, everything, even the diner's are described so you could see them.   Even some local lore and myth is thrown in, to the mix.  Love traveling the world through the pages of author's mind's.  Love it.

In this read you will find intense situations, difficult decisions, love for family and friends and definitely you will go through anxieties of hope with Lizzie and her destiny for this story.  This read is a great atmosphere of suspense.  A well developed read.  The sequence of events keeps you engaged as you read of horrendous unexpected setbacks.  Yet, Matt is not deterred.

Keeping things real here - You know what the hell is going on early in the book.  So what?!, the way Kimberly Shursen pens her story to you, you can't help but turn the next page.  This tale's pace built emotion as you ride the rushed pace where needed and you'll feel satisfied relief where that's needed too, so pace yourself folks as I know you'll try to rush through.  Enjoy.

Not every novel has a happy ending, maybe this one does ... for whom?

This novel has not a thing to do with spider's, yet, when you hear Itsy Bitsy Spider being sung, you'll think of Kimberly, oh yes you will.

Most recommended for a debut folks ~

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Itsy Bitsy Spider

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 Here's where you can get your fingers on Itsy Bitsy Spider
  •  Amazon ~ Kindle $1.99 ~ Paperback $15.99 USD

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About the author ~

Kimberly Shursen
Thriller/mystery writer, Kimberly Shursen, began making up stories in grade school. Growing up in a small town in Iowa with a population of 2,000, imagination not only became her entertainment, but a passion.

After graduating from a private college with a BA in education, Shursen began writing a musical. Five years later she presented the music, book, and lyrics to private investors. The play premiered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and later opened in Sweden.

Eden, Shursen's second full-blown musical was also produced by investors, catching rave reviews.

Knowing her passion had always been to be an author, Ms. Shursen left her position as a marketing director to pursue a full-time career in writing. She has yet to regret the decision.

Shursen's debut novel, political thriller ITSY BITSY SPIDER, was voted one of the top two thrillers of 2013. Legal thriller HUSH was published in January of 2014 and a top pick for Underground Book Reviews.
Kimberly Shursen's psychological thriller series follows the lives of a family caught in the web of a malevolent mental illness that spans over four decades and two generations. LOTTERY, SON OF CALEB, CALEB'S LOT, are available  ~  Amazon


"The absolutely best part of being a writer is meeting interesting people I would never have met if they had not taken a chance on a new writer and picked up my book. I will always and forever be grateful."  ~  Kimberly Shursen

Reviews  for

~    Kimberly Shursen   ~
Itsy Bitsy Spider



Caleb's Lot


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