Someone to Blame

Someone to Blame

by Susanne Lakin
4.3 14

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Someone to Blame by Susanne Lakin

Matt and Irene Moore, anxious to leave horrific tragedies behind them, relocate to a small coastal town with their 14-year-old daughter, Casey. But rather than find peace, their world is once more turned upside-down when their lives become entangled with Billy Thurber, a drifter who arrives in Breakers with a rash of crimes following at his heels. As the town goes after Thurber with murderous intent, eager for someone to blame, the Moores find unexpected grace and healing in the most unlikely way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310577492
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 09/28/2010
Sold by: Zondervan Publishing
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
File size: 928 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Susanne Lakin grew up collating television scripts for her mother, a screenwriter, story editor, and producer for television. As an adult, Susanne assisted in developing series for television, and while raising two daughters and running a bed and breakfast inn in northern California, wrote her first three novels and a cookbook. She currently works as a freelance copy editor and writing mentor, specializing in helping authors prepare their books for publication. She is a member of The Christian PEN (Proofreaders and Editors Network), CEN (Christian Editor Network), And ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). She is currently working on her ninth novel: Conundrum, her fourth psychological suspense novel. She has also written three books in her Sacred Sites fantasy series and the first book in a Young Adult sci-fi adventure series: Time Sniffers. If she didn't spend all her time writing and copyediting, she would be sixty feet underwater, taking photographs, or backpacking in the Trinty Alps with her dog, Sweetie. She confesses to a serious chocolate addiction, which she shares with her husband of twenty-six years, Lee Miller. Together they also share a deep love for God and gratitude for their savior, Jesus Christ.

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Someone to Blame 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lakin, in the tradition of Jodi Picoult, is a master at taking the reader into the hearts of her characters. Each voice is distinct, weaving a full-bodied story. I was lost to Lakin's sea-swept northern California town and it's quirky population. A family ravaged by grief takes center stage as they claw their way back to each other and emotional survival while their lives intertwine with a cipher--a young man no one understands. Someone to Blame is gripping novel that satisfies a reader's need to connect with a story and the characters who people it.
AlyciaM More than 1 year ago
The Moore Family recently moved to Breakers, a small town in the Pacific Northwest, fleeing the heartache of lost loved ones. Their family is fragile, and one wave crashing them against the cliffs could break them - unless the walls around their individual hearts came down. Billy Thurber has recently shown up in town, as well, selling firewood off the back of his pickup truck. When he arrives, so does trouble. The people of Breakers don't like the glare in his eyes or the attitude he carries. So when the trouble starts, all the fingers point to Billy.except for one. Will one person's compassion set Billy's heart free from his past? Will the once-quiet town of Breakers find peace again? In Someone to Blame, C.S. Lakin provides a full cast of characters with real issues. She provides just enough description for the readers mind to envision the coastal fishing town and the surrounding mountains, allowing the reader to imagine the rest. I enjoyed the small-town pace of the book. The action is just enough to keep one wondering what's coming next, if anything else could go wrong, and who's to blame for what the town is going through. Once the action peaks, it drops off again as evidence from the once sleepy town is revealed. But keep reading, because the end of the story is the best part of the book. Lakin sprinkles revelations of God's love, grace, and forgiveness throughout the story. The tale she tells moved my heart more than once. Someone to Blame is a fresh story filled with twists and turns resembling the coastal roads it is set against. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and I give it four out of five light stars.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Pastor Terry tried to comfort Matt by throwing out the oft used platitude about 'God testing him.' Something about that statement just didn't seem to wash when his memory flashed back to the scene of the accident at "The Trap" when he saw his son Jesse lying dead on the ground. And then there was his other son, Daniel. He was gone too and that further convinced Matt that "God sure had some warped sense of purpose." Big time warped. Irene, his wife, escaped into her own little world and their daughter, Casey, had a shrine in honor of her brothers and often wore their clothing. They were going to escape the past and were moving to Breakers, a small town in California, a town as far away from the memories as they could get. Irene had taken a full-time job teaching third grade at Breakers Elementary while Matt worked on fixing up their rundown rental, the Salmonberry House. Casey was disgusted with everything and everyone and living in a podunk town wasn't her cup of tea until she spotted Billy Thurber. A hunk in podunk was a sight any fourteen-year-old girl would love, especially one so lost. She was the only one who thought the drifter was appealing. The trouble seemed to begin as soon as that boy stepped foot in Breakers offering up firewood for sale. Jerry Hubble, the owner of the dumpy Riptide Motel, watched that creep thinking, "This kid was trouble; there was no mistaking it." Soon many others would join his camp, including Matt Moore. Irene began to think about "How empty her arms felt--arms that used to be full of laughing, wiggling children" when she saw Casey at her shrine. When she met Billy, a young man with attitude, she was reminded of Daniel. Were they both victims of "expected failure?" Billy, like Daniel was sullen and pushed everyone to their limits. Things started to go awry in Breakers and fingers began to point at him. Sheriff Joe Huff had no choice but to take notice. Things started to disappear. Mrs. Waverly's necklace was missing and someone broke into Matt's truck and stole some of his things. A suspicious fire broke out at the Riptide and the town began to go wild with suspicion. It was all because of that Billy Thurber. The best was yet to come when a body was found washed up on the bank of the Trinity River. Lee Chin never liked the look of Billy from the start and thought he portended stagnant chi. Was he right? Was the young drifter the cause of all this mess? Who was to blame for all this calamity? And just where had God disappeared to? This is a heartbreaking, yet heartwarming tale of a family lost in the throes of grief. I was hooked from the first page to the last . something that is often a difficult task for a writer to accomplish. The underpinnings of faith, however each character chose to define it, was woven through the tapestry of this book. Some characters heavily questioned whether God indeed existed as they struggled with the circumstances of their lives. This is Christian fiction (not at all preachy) but subtly does reach out and ask the reader to examine his or her own relationship with God. The theme is reminiscent of Kushner's When Bad Things Happen to Good People, only this examination is in an excellent fictionalized format. Someone to Blame is not a heavy read, but rather a pensive one. Quill says: This is the winner of the Zondervan First Novel contest and well worth the time to read!
M1ssDiagnosis More than 1 year ago
Having been through the tragic deaths of both their sons, the Moore family decides on a fresh start in a small coastal town. But they soon find they cannot escape the bitterness, unforgiveness, and blame still weighing heavily on each of them. But when a young, disagreeable stranger shows up in town around the same time as a spree of petty crimes and becomes persona non grata, the Moore family has a chance to learn about grace and forgiveness. A gripping story with strongly sympathetic characters, this seems to be a compelling lesson about compassion, forgiveness, and wrongly judging others. However, I couldn't help but notice the author's liberal ideology seeping through to the subtext. She seems to strongly imply that America is to blame for most of the world's inequality, that our country looks for opportunities to exploit the disenfranchised, and that those who prefer country living and also treasure our Constitutional rights to protect our lives and property are actually trigger-happy vigilantes. This kind of "blame America" mentality and stereotyping seems to directly contradict with the larger moral of the story. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Smilingsally More than 1 year ago
Right off the bat, let me tell you that this is a good read! No parent should have to bury their child, but the Moores have this burden. They decide to move, hoping that a new location will give them a fresh start. However, their feelings, memories, and guilt go with them. Although this may sound depressing, the book is not. The author reveals a bit of their past here and there. The tension-laden plot is paced such that the pages almost turn themselves. The characters are well-rounded--like folks we already know. That Billy Thurber gave me the creeps! Teenage Casey loves Shakespeare, and the author creatively intersperses connections to his literature into Casey's thoughts. Although the classification is Christian fiction, it's not preachy; therefore, all readers should like this one. I loved the way the author handles the final four chapters, revealing the previous three months. This settles all unanswered questions. Don't miss this one! Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Zondervan Publishing for my copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CarlaStewart More than 1 year ago
The Moore family in CS Lakin's debut novel is a family in pain and transition. Reeling from the tragedies of loss - not just one child in the family, but two - they relocate in hopes of putting the past behind and moving forward. In a small coastal town in northern California they find that not only does their past intrude on their lives, but new problems arise - particularly in the character of Billy Thurber. Thurber is a mysterious young man who seems to have arrived just as the town of Breakers has a number of unexplained incidents of theft and arson. The townspeople are quick to point fingers at Thurber. What ensues is a mystery, but often as Lakin builds her story world, the book reads like a book of true crime - laying the foundation and increasing the tension at every turn. Lakin is a master at crafting chapter-ending hooks, which pulled me deeper into the story. I cared not only about the Moore family, but the other townspeople as well, even Billy Thurber. The middle of the story may have lagged a bit, but it provided crucial information that led quickly into high stakes and a fast-paced ending. This is not your run-of-the mill inspirational read in that it's difficult to pin a genre on it, but that is often the type of story I'm drawn to. In the end, healing comes in an unexpected way, and my faith in human nature was restored. An excellent read.
DH515 More than 1 year ago
Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. I cannot imagine facing the loss of a child. Someone to Blame explores the gut wrenching heartache a family endures when a child is lost. We see the parents struggle as well as the siblings struggle as the family works toward some sort of healing. There are many lessons that we can take away from this story; never take your loved ones for granted, words are deeply painful and don't judge a book by its cover. False accusations almost lead to the loss of another life. How true this can be when the gossip mill around us fuels the fires against an individual. I am also reminded just how much of an influence parents can be on a child both positive and negatively. This is the second Christian book that I have read this month, and I have enjoyed the message in both.
starlitehouse More than 1 year ago
In a last ditch effort to savage what is left of their family the Moore's move to a small coastal town where they find they can't run from their problems when the problem is them. With an unbearable loss that everyone blames each other for, and anger that is pulling them apart it is hard to tell if the family will make it. Meanwhile, a young drifter comes to the same small town where there has been an outbreak of crime and finds the good people of the town are all ready to point the finger at him for their troubles. This is a heart breaking tale of a families loss and attempt at survival and a close look at the assumptions that people make all the time just by judging each other. Someone to Blame by C.S. Lakin is a book that will pull you in and keep you turning the pages while you immerse yourself in the lives that are torn apart to see if there will be a peaceful ending. While many books written in the Christian genre end up being a sermon with a story in them this was finds the grace of being a story with a message softly folded in. I read this is one day and would recommend it to all. I received this book for free from Library things Early Reviewers but plan to buy another copy to send on to friends.
LoudWaves More than 1 year ago
CS Lakin paints a terrible situation for any family (no spoiler), one that seems to have no remedy, no hope. But then she crafts a complex story showing the power of hope and redemption. The one thing I noticed is that I can still remember over a dozen of the characters' names, something I usually forget soon after finishing other book. And I remember the setting. This book pulls you in deep and keeps you there. Well done.
NikoleHahn More than 1 year ago
Love Vs. Hate "When you lose a child, you tumble in free fall continually, without acquittal. The ground rushes up at you, your mind frantic and disbelieving. Impending doom pulls you toward impact at dizzying speeds. But you never hit bottom. Never a reprieve from panic. Never startling awake before the moment of contact. Never breathing that sigh of relief as the wisp of nightmare dissolves and you learn you are safe, tangled in bed covers, your husband sleeping undisturbed at your side. You are always falling." - Pg. 8 Chapter 1 immediately snagged my attention. The words flowed with ease, purpose, and kept me on this journey of discovery. The plot was well done. The characters well developed and intriguing, typical of humanity. I could easily identify people of those personalities in my town. I could see me in that town making their mistakes. It is a classic story of love versus hate with several psychological twists. Someone To Blame centers around Matt and Irene Moore. They moved from their town to escape the deaths of their sons-one was an accident and the other was suicide. Their daughter, Casey, becomes this angry form stomping through the pages of the book like a wind storm. All three wish to blame someone for the deaths. They blame each other. In this muddle comes a young man named Billy Thurber and in his wake a crime spree leaves the town of Breaker in an uproar. The Moore's find curious healing in their encounters with Billy. I read this book with the preconceived notion that it would follow a formula story. Villains in most books are easy to discover. It's like watching a movie and the music changes when the villain enters the room. This is not the case with Someone To Blame. Everyone is blaming something or someone for whatever happened and the reader is left in the fog, questioning, turning the pages, compiling the clues, and coming to erroneous conclusions. The writer always leaves finger prints of themselves in between the words. The emotions Irene and Matt experience of losing a child and the anger Casey exhibits makes me think the author must have experienced losing a child, too. I have never lost a child. Yet after reading this novel I feel as if I can fully understand a couple who has experienced that loss. It is deep and painful. The first half of the book is depressing leaving one to pick over the conversations and the words, thinking deeply about it for the rest of the day. On the back cover, C.K. Lakin says she has other books on the market. All are psychological suspense. It has certainly helped me look at my own novel with new eyes. While reading her book, I learned a few more things about character and plot development. Books that make me think and make 2D characters 3D always take a permanent spot in my library. It is well worth rereading over and over again. You learn about hate, love, bad choices, good choices, and scripture hits you in the face. It is an unusual love versus hate story that I would read again and again. In fact, I am going to look up her other books. If she writes this well on Someone To Blame, I can't wait to read her other books. Book Provided By Zondervan And The Author For Review. To order this book click here.
Reviews-By-Ann More than 1 year ago
Lakin, in the tradition of Jodi Picoult, is a master at taking the reader into the hearts of her characters. Each voice is distinct, weaving a full-bodied story. I was lost to Lakin's sea-swept northern California town and it's quirky population. A family ravaged by grief takes center stage as they claw their way back to each other and emotional survival while their lives intertwine with a cipher--a young man no one understands. Someone to Blame is gripping novel that satisfies a reader's need to connect with a story and the characters who people it.
JEMorris More than 1 year ago
(Advance reading copy) Small towns have big problems-or so it seems-when a shifty-eyed drifter moves into Breakers, California about the same time as the Moore family, what's left of them anyway. Matt, Irene, and Casey need a new beginning, but moving to Breakers comes with its own brand of pain and mystery. Thefts, fires, vandalism-who is to blame? The fill-in sheriff can't seem to get a handle on it. The town's new pastor doesn't have any answers. The locals start pointing fingers. The Moores aren't finding the peace they were looking for-not at all. I had been waiting-impatiently-to read Susanne Lakin's contest winner, Someone to Blame, since Zondervan announced her name at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in 2009. What a joy to be chosen as a pre-release reader-and what a thrill to read this fabulous, suspenseful novel. Definitely a page turner. Never boring. Believable characters in a plot that never seemed contrived. The theme of our human nature needing to look outside ourselves for the causes of "bad things" happening is well-developed and appropriately presented in the setting of a small coastal town among people who only think they know each other well, and know their own motivations even less. The Christian elements in the storyline weave through seamlessly and realistically. Bad things do happen to "good" people, to believers, and even to pastors' families. None of us is exempt from calamity. The grace we both give and receive is what helps us survive it. The question Lakin raises is: can we accept the grace? Someone to Blame is scheduled for release in early September. I suggest you order a copy now before they sell out! I'm looking forward to Lakin's next, next, and next!