Review: SUMMIT LAKE by Charlie Donlea

I picked up this edgy mystery/thriller on NetGalley a while back.  It was somewhat different from my usual reading fare, but a good book.

Description (from Amazon)

51-foo2bpsrl“No suspects.  No persons of interest.  Just a girl who was alive one day and dead the next.”

Some places seem too beautiful to be touched by horror. Summit Lake, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is that kind of place, with charming stilt houses dotted along the pristine water. But two weeks ago, Becca Eckersley, a first-year law student, was brutally murdered in one of those houses. The daughter of a powerful attorney, Becca was hard-working, accomplished, and ambitious. Now, while the town reels with grief and shocked residents gather to share their theories, the police are baffled.

At first, investigative reporter Kelsey Castle thinks of the assignment as a fluff piece. But the savagery of the crime, and the determined efforts to keep the case quiet, all hint at something far more than a random attack by a stranger. As Kelsey digs deeper, pushing on despite danger and warnings, she feels a growing connection to the dead girl. And the more she learns about Becca’s friendships, her love life—and the secrets she was keeping—the more convinced she becomes that learning the truth about Becca could be the key to overcoming her own dark past…

My Review

This was a steady-paced and suspenseful mystery/thriller and a pleasant read. Kelsey is a strong woman who is doing her best to bounce back from a traumatic event and throws herself into finding out what happened to Becca. The narrative skillfully alternates between flashbacks to the victim’s life and Kelsey’s ongoing investigation.  Nonetheless, some aspects of the story didn’t quite gel for me and the vivid descriptions of Summit Lake were somewhat repetitive. And, odd as this may sound, the identify of the murderer was at the same time predictable and a surprise.

FTC Disclosure:  I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley without obligation and have voluntarily chosen to share my honest review. 

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