by Kate Morton
Title: The Lake House
Author: Kate Morton
Publication date: October 20, 2015
Number of pages: 678
Synopsis: From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heartstopping suspense and uncovered secrets.
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
I can’t express my love for this book enough. While I usually don’t read mysteries, the genre is among my favorites to read if written and paced well. In my opinion, mystery books are both hard to read and write because the author has to know what happens without making it blatant to the reader from the beginning. This book definitely kept me guessing and second guessing myself. Another thing I like about this book was the cozy aspect of it as it was set in a small town.
Firstly, I loved how unique the book is, or at least to me it is, in that it switches between the present and the past to convey the story. This switch was especially interesting because it added more mystery to the plot. Since Morton switched between time periods, I was left wondering what would happen next, whose version of a story was true, and how everything connected. Again, I like how Morton wove this story because I wasn’t exactly sure of the timeline of events until the very end.
Second, I really liked the writing style, characters and plot in this book. The characters were all likeable, and each had a story of their own that needed to be told. The characters also had their own issues that were resolved in some way through their interactions with the other characters in the novel. Each characters’ story also helped to develop that specific character as well as the rest of the characters and plot. The writing in the book was full of details and I found myself trying to dissect each one for a possible clue to the mystery. Each detail was divulged at the moment when I thought I had the puzzle figured out, causing me to analyze the new detail and try to fit it into what I already had. The contrast between the cozy setting and the overarching storyline was well written, giving the book both a sense of comfort and a deeper sense of foreboding. I know, it seems confusing, but I promise that if you read the story you’ll understand what I mean.
My only complaints with the book would be the pacing and ending. In terms of pacing, I found it a little slow at times. Sure, it was mostly great, but sometimes I felt there were extra descriptions and details that weren’t needed. The beginning of the story had both too many details and too few details, which made it a little hard to get into. While I can understand Morton might have done this on purpose to create that sense of foreboding and comfort and give people cause to overanalyze everything, I found it to be a little overwhelming at times. In my oppinion, the balance between too many and too few details was a little distorted, detracting from the beginning and some middle parts. While I liked the ending and how things turned out for the characters, I felt that the last chapter/epologue could have been expanded upon a little. Still, I really liked how Morton wrapped everything up.
Overall, this was a great mystery that incorporated past and present in a unique way. It’s plot, characters, and writing style all helped to develop the mystery and a sense of intrigue. I would definitely recommend this to mystery lovers looking for the action and suspense of a mystery, while having a cozy setting.