Review of “Summit Lake” by Charlie Donlea

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Thanks to Kensington Books via NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The murder of law student Becca Eckersley is brutal. Clearly a crime of passion committed by someone who either loved or hated her very much. Beautiful and smart, she was not lacking for male attention. But finding out who is responsible will require some creative and boundary-pushing sleuthing. Enter reporter Kelsey Castle, herself the recent victim of a violent crime. She is deployed to Summit Lake in the Blue Ridge Mountain where Becca had been using her parent’s vacation home to study when her life was suddenly cut short. There she enlists the help of a local doctor and Commander Ferguson, a forty-three year veteran of the local police force. (I really liked his character as it reminded me a lot of Joe Kenda from the ID series Homicide Hunter. One of my guilty pleasures when I’m not reading.)

Though this book had all the requisite components of a great mystery including a brutal crime of passion, families of wealth and power, a victim who kept secrets, a potential police cover-up, and multiple suspects, I found that it didn’t really put me in the suspense I’d hoped for until I was about 80% through the book. Then the surprising twists were revealed and I was unable to put it down.

Overall, I thought this book was pretty good though the access Kelsey was given to case information from both Peter, the physician and Detective Ferguson seemed highly unlikely.

My rating: 3.5 stars