Set in a small, picturesque North Carolina town, Charlie Donlea’s suspenseful debut novel tells the haunting story of a murdered law school student, the reporter assigned to her story—and the intimate connection that comes when the living walk in the footsteps of the dead.
“No suspects. No persons of interest. Just a girl who was alive one day and dead the next.”
Some places seem too beautiful to be touched by horror. Summit Lake, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is that kind of place, with charming stilt houses dotted along the pristine water. But two weeks ago, Becca Eckersley, a first-year law student, was brutally murdered in one of those houses. The daughter of a powerful attorney, Becca was hard-working, accomplished, and ambitious. Now, while the town reels with grief and shocked residents gather to share their theories, the police are baffled.
At first, investigative reporter Kelsey Castle thinks of the assignment as a fluff piece. But the savagery of the crime, and the determined efforts to keep the case quiet, all hint at something far more than a random attack by a stranger. As Kelsey digs deeper, pushing on despite danger and warnings, she feels a growing connection to the dead girl. And the more she learns about Becca’s friendships, her love life—and the secrets she was keeping—the more convinced she becomes that learning the truth about Becca could be the key to overcoming her own dark past…
I won a copy of this book over on The Suspense Is Thrilling Me blog, so many thanks to Chelsea whose blog it is as well as the author.
Summit Lake is the authors debut novel and boy what a novel!
The story flicks between events leading up to Becca’s death and to present day where we meet Kelsey, a reporter, who becomes intrigued by Becca’s death and decides to do some digging of her own.
Being a small town, Becca meets a some what luke warm reception by some of the residents and proceeds to upset some people when she starts to stick her nose in where it isn’t welcome.
I became as intrigued as Kelsey in Becca’s death. Through Kelsey’s digging she ends up finding out more than she bargained for and it is obvious that some people know more than what they are letting on.
I really liked Kelsey, she is trying to get over an horrific attack that has left her very fragile and it also makes her feel in someway connected to Becca. She is scared but is determined to not let the attack define her and by throwing herself into investigating Becca’s death it gives her a reason to get up and to carry on with her life while giving it purpose.
The author takes his readers on a journey that seriously messes with your mind. I thought I had it all worked out only for the author to drop a bomb shell leaving me totally clueless and having to start all over again with who it could be. There are plenty of twists and turns that totally throw you so you have no clue until the author finally reveals it to us.
Summit Lake is a seriously good psychological thriller that grabs the readers attention from beginning right up until the very end. Through the story I was very much drawn both to Becca and Kelsey and I felt almost like I was working along with Kelsey in finding justice for Becca. It is actually quite hard to believe that this is the authors debut novel and I for one can’t wait to read more of his work.
Goodreads rating 5/5 stars.