The Lake Houseby Kate Morton
One of People magazine’s Best Books of Fall—“Morton's moody, suspenseful latest is the perfect page-turner for a chilly night.” From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heartstopping suspense/i>/i>/i>/b>/i>… See more details below
One of People magazine’s Best Books of Fall—“Morton's moody, suspenseful latest is the perfect page-turner for a chilly night.” From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heartstopping suspense and uncovered secrets.Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure… One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined. Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone...yet more present than ever. A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.
New York Times best-selling author Morton (The Secret Keepers) offers another tale of families riven by dark secrets, as 14-year-old Alice Edevane's little brother Theo disappears during a lavish party at the family's sprawling estate in Cornwall, England. The case remains unsolved for 60 years, when Det. Sadie Sparrow of the London police stumbles upon the abandoned estate and approaches Alice, now a grand dame author. Fans are lining up.
A suspected kidnapping, a once-proud manor house, and a disgraced police officer all figure in Morton's latest multigenerational Cornish saga. In 2003, Sadie is put on administrative leave from her post with the London police force for getting too involved in a child-abandonment case. She retreats to her grandfather's house in Cornwall, and there, while jogging, she happens upon the ruin of what locals inform her is Loeanneth, the ancestral lakeside manse of the deShiel family. The story ricochets among 2003, 1911, and 1933 as we learn that Eleanor deShiel, who inspired a children's book reminiscent of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, became the chatelaine of Loeanneth thanks to a Downton Abbey-esque plot twist in which, due to the Titanic disaster, new husband Anthony Edevane inherits enough money to reclaim her birthright from creditors. But when Anthony goes to war, he returns shell-shocked and prone to unpredictable outbursts. Meanwhile, their children, Deborah, Alice and Clemmie, frolic on the grounds, oblivious to their parents' difficulties. Alice, 16, is a budding mystery writer (whose future fame will equal Agatha Christie's), but in 1933 she's nursing a teenage crush on Ben, an impecunious gardener. As a lark, she concocts a hypothetical scenario which might have prompted Ben to kidnap Theo, her baby brother. Flashbacks reveal that Deborah and Clemmie also have reason to blame themselves for Theo's disappearance during an all-night Midsummer's Eve party—he was never found and his fate remains unknown. At loose ends, Sadie investigates this cold case, developing several theories. As the various skeins intersect, the story becomes unwieldy; using multiple narrators, Morton can believably withhold information to build suspense, but when such selective nondisclosure is carried to extremes, frustrated readers may be tempted to practice their skimming. An atmospheric but overlong history of family secrets and their tormented gatekeepers.
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