- File Size: 255 KB
- Print Length: 93 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Orelia Publishing (September 27, 2015)
- Publication Date: September 27, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B015WYIQ4K
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,755 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Blackwater Lake: A Psychological Suspense Novella Kindle Edition
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"The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell" by Robert Dugoni
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I picked this novella up to read when I found myself short on time and behind on my blogging. It was the synopsis that really caught my attention and made me want to read it.
I always find it difficult to share my thoughts on novellas because the length is so short and I always fear I'm going to give something away. I'll keep my thoughts brief because of that.
This story focuses on Mathew as he begins the giant task of cleaning out the family home after their murder-suicide. Not an easy task when his mother was a hoarder all of his life. Mathew thought that his father did the unthinkable because of his mother's dementia but things buried in the hoard begin to make him question and long hidden secrets are discovered.
I read Blackwater Lake in a single sitting. The writing and plot had me engrossed and wanting to know what was going to happen. With it being a novella things moved fast and I didn't have to wait very long to find out how it would all play out. Was I able to figure it out? Yes, but that is just me. Was it obvious? I don't think so.
This novella delivered exactly what I was looking for. A good story without the time commitment. It provided me with the entertainment that I craved with the short amount of time that I had to enjoy it. I will definitely be checking out more work from this author.
Each of James’s characters are full-dimension with their own set of psychological needs and agendas, some of which are carefully hidden, keeping the tension tight as the suspense builds page by page. As a reader, I found myself heading off in false directions as I tried to stay ahead of the characters and out guess the mystery swimming through Blackwater Lake. But the author is excellent at keeping the reader guessing.
James is known for placing her novels and characters in the simplest of settings, and yet adding layers of complications to build the mystery and suspense, resulting in fine entertainment for the reader. James is adept at letting her characters implement her finely crafted stories! I especially enjoyed the lead character, Matthew, and his action-reaction with the other characters.
And who would have thought the simple act of hoarding could offer up a mystery suspense thriller that crosses generations as the plot thickens and the mystery unfolds. There is plenty of finger-pointing among the characters to keep the reader off center until the closing pages.
Another well-written book by Maggie James! Five stars!
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.
The authors purpose was very clear, she depicted characters who were strongly religious and simultaneously abusive, and wanted to show how their actions can screw up the lives of many others. Although true, the message is frustrating. Abuse victims need to know that although their lives were horrible, they always have the ability to change. They don't get to do awful things and be relieved of blame because of their past, which is essentially the excuse the main character makes when he sums up the events of the book in the end.
All in all, I assume the author has had experiences with people who abuse religion, and wanted to reiterate how bad these people can be. Unfortunately she does so without much thought or effort, and rather than leaving the reader stewing on the destruction they can cause, she's left me saying, "well duh."