EXCERPT: If they’d been alone at the lake, and if Sari’s death was ruled a homicide, then one of them was a killer.
Ally. Mac. Jake.
Best friend. Boyfriend. Third wheel.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: On a bright Saturday in early spring, Detective Gemma Monroe responds to a missing person call at Lost Lake, near the small town of Cedar Valley, Colorado. With its sapphire waters and abundance of wildflowers, the lake is a popular camping destination in the summer. But for now, ice still grips the lake and snow buries the flowers.
When Gemma arrives at the shore, she meets three friends who have been camping there: the fourth of their group, Sari Chesney, has disappeared in the night without a trace. Sari is an assistant curator at the local museum, which is set to host a gala that night–a project she’s worked on for months and would never intentionally miss. As Gemma begins to understand the complex dynamics of the supposedly close-knit friendship group, she realizes that more than one person is lying to her–and that the beautiful, still waters of Lost Lake may hide more terrible secrets . . .
MY THOUGHTS: I started this read with high hopes. The prologue is deliciously sinister. Early on, and sporadically scattered throughout the book, are passages of beautifully lyrical writing. e. g. ‘It should have felt peaceful, but there was a roughness to the pastoral scene, like a pencil sketch that has been handled by greasy fingers, the edges smudged.’ The cover describes Littlejohn’s writing as lyrical and gripping, and there are brief glimpses of this, but largely it is all very ordinary. There was a certain roughness to the ending also, which left me feeling dissatisfied.
I had not read the first two books in this series, but don’t feel like I have missed much by not having done so, and I probably won’t read any more of the series to come either. I didn’t feel connected to the characters. I didn’t feel involved in the plot. I felt like a mostly disinterested bystander, watching some disturbance because I happened to be there, with nothing better to do and no other place to be. If you were to ask me about this book in a week or twos time, I think I would struggle to recall it.
My favorite characters are Gemma’s grandparents, Julia and Bull. Julia is suffering from dementia, and Bull, who clearly adores his wife, is determined to keep her at home where he can care for her, rather than placing her in a facility. This side-plot was the highlight of the book for me, and earned the book an extra .5 of a star.
THE AUTHOR: I was born and raised in Southern California but have called Colorado home for over a decade now. The beautiful mountains and open space continue to inspire me on a daily basis.
I wrote Inherit the Bones over the course of two years. I’ve always had a fascination with all things mystery, horror, and the macabre. Bones was inspired by a vision I had of a clown, found dead, in full costume. I wondered who was the man behind the make-up?
And just like that, a story was born.
Inherit the Bones received critical acclaim and was a 2017 Colorado Book Award finalist.
I hope you enjoy spending time in Cedar Valley with Detective Gemma Monroe, her partner Finn Nowlin and the rest of the people that bring the town to life. The second book in the series, A Season to Lie, is now available, with a third and fourth book to come in 2018 and 2019.
I currently serve as the Program Director for the Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America and am a winner in the 2017 ThrillerFest Best First Sentence contest. (Author’s website)
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to St Martin’s Press via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Lost Lake by Emily Littlejohn for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2568455846