Matthew Stanyer fears the worst when he reports his parents missing. His father, Joseph Stanyer, has been struggling to cope with his wife Evie, whose dementia is rapidly worsening. When their bodies are found close to Blackwater Lake, a local beauty spot, the inquest rules the deaths as a murder-suicide. A conclusion that's supported by the note Joseph leaves for his son.
Grief-stricken, Matthew begins to clear his parents' house of decades of compulsive hoarding, only to discover the dark enigmas hidden within its walls. Ones that lead Matthew to ask: why did his father choose Blackwater Lake to end his life? What other secrets do its waters conceal?
A short (26,000 words) novella, Blackwater Lake examines one man's determination to uncover his family's troubled past.
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About the Author
Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels.
Her first novel, entitled His Kidnapper’s Shoes, was written whilst travelling in Bolivia. Maggie was inspired by an impending milestone birthday along with a healthy dose of annoyance at having procrastinated for so long in writing a novel. His Kidnapper’s Shoes was published in both paperback and e-book format in 2013, followed by her second novel, entitled Sister, Psychopath. Her third novel, Guilty Innocence, like her first two, features her home city of Bristol. She has recently published her fourth novel, The Second Captive. Maggie has also written Write Your Novel! From Getting Started to First Draft, to inspire would-be novelists to write their first book.
Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I didn't like it because I thought it was mean.
Good book. Nice plot twists kept me guessing.
Be Careful What You Wish For - You Might Get It Hoarding is more than just a mess ... it's a common problem difficult to treat. A hoarder has the compulsion to save anything and everything. They cannot bear to do without what they have. This is one of the illnesses that affects Matthew's mother. When he lived at home, he never had friends .. he was too embarrassed to let anyone see how his family lived. He has moved closer to home, now, because of his mother's early onset dementia. His father can't do it all himself anymore. He fears the worst when his parents go missing ..and then later are found as victims of a murder / suicide. As he works to clean out the house, he discovers there are secrets buried beneath the piles of boxes and food and clutter .... secrets that are 30 years old. Matthew feels a need to discover what his family has always hidden from him. You know the saying .... be careful of what you wish for, you might get it. The author has tackled this social problem at its basic core. What causes that urge one day to start collecting? How does the family exist in that kind of environment? This is a novella .. longer than a short story, shorter than a novel...but it reads as a full novel. She has really done her homework on the psychology of hoarding. The characters come to life under her expert writing. The suspense is there ... the reader not quite certain where it's all leading. An excellent read. Highly recommend. 5 Stars! My thanks to the author and Catlady Bookover Publicity who furnished a digital copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Blackwater Lake by Maggie James is another amazing read from this author. She introduces the reader to Matthew, a floundering young man without huge familial ties.It’s when his parent’s grow old that he returns home. Not long after his return home his parents’ turn up dead. That’s where the mystery and head game begins. He pries into their life as he sorts through their belongings. This story is well written, suspenseful, with developed characters. It is much shorter than James other books but every bit as good. She uses vivid descriptions and plenty of clues but the answers don’t reveal until the end. She nicely ties everything together. I found myself clinging, waiting to read what would happen next. What clue Matthew would find and trying to solve the mystery. For mystery/ suspense buffs, like me, a great Maggie James book to start with.