An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
By: Charlie Donlea
Publication Date: 1/26/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars +
Featured Weekend Read
Nov 13-15 Debut Novel
A special thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
T O P - N O T C H ! 5 Stars +
Debut? If this is a debut, can only imagine what is to come.
OK, I have a pretty good track record, predicting Top Books and those inspired for film. Reading 400-500 books a year, certain show-stopper's stand out. Remember: You read it here: This well-written psychological crime suspense mystery thriller has "bestseller/the big screen" written all over it.
SUMMIT LAKE by talented new author, Charlie Donlea, is destined to be in line for "The Best Debut of 2016." "Charlie, I hope you have given up your day job, and busy writing your next installment of Kelsey Castle." Many more stories here, waiting to be uncovered, (hoping for a series); sure your fingers are tapping away.
Set in the Western North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains in a small upscale weekenders’ lake hideaway idyllic area, we learn of a brutal murder of law student, Becca Eckersley in 2012. Her wealthy parents reside in Greensboro, NC Piedmont Triad area, well-connected and father a prominent attorney—one of their many weekend second homes.
As the novel opens we learn of the brutal murder which shakes the small tourist town. We flash back and forth from fourteen months earlier with Becca, and her college life at George Washington University.
We meet a series of Becca's college friends. Guy friends, a secret lover, a former relationship with a professor, and an old high school fling. They await college acceptance letters from the top Ivy League schools. From college stresses of grades, cheating to pass, obsessions, their future careers, aspirations, secrets, loves, and pressure of hi-profile parents….readers relive the months leading up to the tragic event.
We also meet Kelsey Castle, a crime investigative reporter and author, from Miami, FL at Events Magazine, recuperating from her own tragic event. Her boss sends her to the small tourist town for some R&R, for a fluff story. Little does he know, what is in store and what Kelsey will find, as she begins her investigation.
She is obsessed with finding answers for Becca, a young woman with a bright future, cut short. More secrets unfold. She feels a connection and will use all her resources to find out the identity of the killer. For justice. The murder has to be someone the girl knew--no signs of intrusion. Limited clues. The authorities are of little help. Someone is hiding information.
Donlea, slowly peels back the layers, giving nothing away; flashing between the present with Kelsey, and Becca’s past, as we get closer to the day of the murder. Everyone has a secret. The investigation is mysterious and due to the parent’s wanting to keep things private, there is not a lot of information.
Kelsey has to use all her creative reporting skills putting her in harm’s way. With the help of some new found local special friends, she tries desperately to piece together the mystery. Who killed Becca Eckersley? A girl with so many hidden secrets. Who would want to kill her and why?
An intense haunting mystery. There are so many suspects. What compounds the intriguing crime mystery is the dark lurking psychological aspect. The secrets thoughts and obsessions of a killer. With twists and turns and many surprises, the identity of the killer will not be revealed until the end.
In addition to the well-written and crafted debut, vivid settings, and descriptions--the human dynamics, with the powerful parallel story line of Kelsey. My favorite characters: Jack, Peter, Rae, and Kelsey. An irresistible page-turner—you will not be able to put it down, grabbing you from page one, to the "hold your breath" last page.
Dying to do a Q&A with the author, for more about this fresh unique, intriguing mystery. The inspiration, the setting, characters, the parallel stories, etc. My favorite genre; for me, three huge familiar connections, true to my heart (S. Florida, Blue Ridge Mountains, and Piedmont-Triad NC areas). You just know when a book will blow you away, from the well-designed book trailer, the description, and the cover. It lives up in every way; as why I pick the "best" for my Featured Weekend Reads.
Think: A cross between Mark Edwards, Michael Robotham, and Linwood Barclay authors, always landing on my top book list.
I never left my hi-rise South Florida apartment once, this weekend-- gazing over the waterfront view, nerve-racked with intense suspense, glued to this page-turner. Thanks for delivering a fantastic crime mystery thriller, and an added bonus--the setting!
Add Summit Lake to your TBR list. Pre-Order Now! Jan, 2016 release. If you have not seen the trailer, a little more temptation: Summit Lake Trailer
A gem, not to be missed.