Saturday, 22 November 2014
ECLIPSE LAKE by MAE CLAIR
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Firstly, I chose to read this book on the Masquerade Crew list because the cover is so elegant and peaceful! However, I was amazed and delighted by the plot - nothing like the cover. The author's skill ensures that this story is a "cut above" the norm, being well written and presented.
Dane, a widower, returns with his adopted son, Jesse, to his home town to make peace with his older brother, Jonah. Although he is now successful and confident, his past comes back to haunt him. Troubled as a teenager, the town is determined to remember him as a thief and trouble-maker who has done jail time.
His brother has nurtured his bitter hatred for Dane, firstly because his younger brother didn't come home to help with his mother's illness or to attend her funeral. Secondly, although Jonah had already broken up with his girlfriend, Brenda, he is harbouring resentment because she zeroed in on Dane later. The disappearance of Brenda has never been solved, and her father, the town Sheriff, is convinced Dane is responsible. His hatred and bitterness burning him up, he is prepared to catch Dane and Jesse for anything he can find, not the least for the murder of his daughter.
Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer who is working in the area, is caught up in the struggle between the brothers, and uncertain whether she can or should commit to her feelings to Dane, or move on, as has been her habit.
Long held secrets come to light shortly after Dane and Jesse arrive. Jesse, anxious to prove his father's worth, brings the past to a surprising conclusion. I didn't see the solution coming - something which delighted me!
An aspect of this novel that I particularly liked was the depth of the characters. Dane, Jesse, Ellie and Jonah are people in whom one can invest concern. The setting is well shown. Small rural communities in Australia as just as "hidebound" and have as long memories as those of Eclipse Lake. Scandal moved as fast and grudges abounded every bit as realistically as those in my part of the world.
The love story is believable and - thank goodness - the author has not filled the story with endless erotic scenes between the characters. Far too many modern novels are erotica linked with a plot, rather than the other way around. This romance is perfect and a charming part of the whole.
Very highly recommended, an unusual mystery and well worth a reader's time and money
Available from Amazon
View all my reviews