Free (and good) Book Alert
In Blackwater Lake by Maggie James we meet Matthew, a son living with guilt. He had moved away from his parents’ home at age eighteen to travel the world. He checked in with them periodically over ten years but only returned when his dad, Joe, informed him mom, Evie, needed him. Once he returned he discovered Evie was in later, rapidly developing stages of dementia. She had become dangerous to Joe as evidenced by increasing, unpredictable physical assaults. Not knowing what to do, Joe and Matthew delayed the inevitable, putting Evie in a nursing care facility. Now Evie and Joe had disappeared. Matthew felt obliged to call the police but was embarrassed to think what they would find when the police searched his parents’ home.
The only good thing that came from the move home was Lauren, Matthew’s girlfriend. Now she was helping him to cope with the loss of his parents. The police search of the house was embarrassing, their discovery of the parents’ bodies in Blackwater lake was sad and shocking. Deemed a murder-suicide, Matthew was surprised his teetotaler dad, clothing weighted with bricks, had drank so much prior to his walk into the lake. Now it was time to clean house and Matthew didn’t want anyone to help. As he was cleaning the family home, Matthew felt that something was out of place. And he was being watched.
Going through photos and papers Matthew discovered photos of an unfamiliar and never known woman who closely resembled his mom and was, in fact, her sister. There were also photos of Evie and Joe on picnics. It seems his teetotaling parents had once been hard drinkers. After a long search, Matthew found his aunt, Izzy, and visited her. With only a few months left to live, Izzy revealed to Matthew horrible facts about her and Evie’s childhood. But there was still a mystery to be solved. In discovered pictures a woman named Kerensa Price, a woman who had gone missing many years ago, appeared to be partying hard with Joe and Evie in their younger years. The mystery of her disappearance had never been solved.
Then Kerensa was found. By Matthew. By this time he had come to unwillingly suspect his parents had a role in Kerensa’s death. Based on photos, he searched probable areas where the body might have been disposed of. He found the body of Kerensa, wrapped and tied in a tarpaulin submerged in lake water. Matthew cut the body free and let it float to the middle of the lake to be discovered by police.
After this point the mysteries and questions come thick and fast. Was there a pregnancy anywhere in any of these relationships? Were there relationships waiting to be discovered? We know that Kerensa was killed. By whom? And why? There is a surprise ending that contains a few mini-surprises.
This is a stand alone short novel of 94 pages that is listed on Amazon for free. Many times I take advantage of offers like this and feel disappointed in the quality of writing. Not here. This is good. It is fast paced. I couldn’t put it down for the two hours it took me to read it and almost forgot to wake up my son for school. I will buy more Maggie James novels.