Book Review: The Lake House by Kate Morton

the_lake_houseReview of: The Lake House by Kate Morton

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Alice Edevane is an imaginative, budding writer at the tender age of sixteen.  In 1930’s Cornwall, England, she lives with her family on an idyllic estate near the lake until tragedy strikes at a Midsummers Eve party when her little brother Theo disappears.  Her life and those of her nearest and dearest family are irrevocably changed after that night.  Many years later, the mystery of Theo’s disappearance has never been solved.  Sadie Sparrow is a police detective on forced leave of absence after her misled involvement in a child abandonment case.  When she sets off to visit her grandfather in Cornwall, she expects to be taking a break from crime–not finding a decades old cold-case to soak up her curiosity.  As Sadie joins forces with Alice to find out once and for all what happened that summer in Cornwall, the past and the present day mysteries test their deductive skills and make them doubt their intuition, leading to a stunning and always surprising conclusion.

Kate Morton has done it again.  I’ve been waiting on this book ever since I found out she was writing it, and it did not disappoint.  There is just no other author that can rival her for creating these massive, picturesque landscapes and mansions that are so real you can almost taste the air and sneeze on the dust.  The Lake House is laden with such amazing description it really took my breath away.  As we all know though, description without a stellar story just drags on and can send you to an early grave, so it’s lucky for us all that Morton can weave such a riveting mystery.

The different parts of the mystery in The Lake House unfold perfectly–each clue leading up to the next discovery, and somehow managing to surprise you at the end.  I’m generally pretty proud of myself for my skill at guessing ‘whodunit’, but Morton always throws me for a loop and sends me off on a wild goose chase so that I’m properly stunned at the end.

One of the things I love most about Morton’s mysteries are how gripping they are without being terrifying.  When it comes to mysteries, I am a huge ninny.  I don’t read horror or psychological thrillers or mysteries with tons of gory, scary details, but I DO like a good mystery.  The Lake House had just enough suspense to keep me going, but not anything so scary that I had to stay awake twitching at every little noise in the house after dark.

I can’t really imagine anybody NOT liking this book, but especially if you like historical fiction, layered mysteries, and literary, kind of gothic novels, read this book.  Oh, and read everything Kate Morton writes, ever.  The worst part about this book is that now I have to wait another few years before there’s another Morton novel.

I loved it: 5 out of 5 stars