The Lake House by Kate Morton
In the 1930’s Alice Edevane’s baby brother disappeared from his crib at the family home in Cornwall. The Edevanes hosted a large party that evening so there were many possible suspects. But the boy was never found. Seventy years later, Alice is a best selling author of dark psychological suspense novels.
Sadie Sparrow is a London police constable on enforced leave. She’s spending her “vacation” with her grandfather in Cornwall. She’s antsy and needs a challenge since she can’t work. She decides to look into the decades old kidnapping. Sadie starts investigating old files at the library. She writes to Alice and her only living sister requesting interviews. She contacts the only living police officer from the original investigation. It was one of his first cases and he has kept his own notes even after the case was shelved. Together, they start investigating the cold case again.
Kate Morton has crafted a story a suspense reader will love. Morton follows three times and three groups of people. It goes between the 1910’s, the 1930’s and 2003. The Lake House is the Edevane family home in Cornwall. Alice’s parents inherited before she and her sisters were born. They had a magic relationship. Her father went to work as a medic in World War I, but never was able to finish his degree to be a doctor after his return.
By the time she was 16, Alice knew she wanted to be a writer. She was madly in love with the gardner and knew her parents wouldn’t approve. She snuck around meeting him, discussing her fantasies with him, and took him the draft of her first novel of a kidnapping for hire. But the night of the party he brroke her heart. Then her baby brother went missing. Would he have been taken if she had gone where she was supposed to be that evening? Her family fractured when the boy wasn’t found dead or alive.
Sadie Sparrow is on enforced leave because she wouldn’t let a missing person case drop. A divorced mother disappeared. Her ex-husband talked about her discontent with her life. Her mother can’t believe she would leave her little girl. Sadie agrees with the mother, but there is no evidence that anything happened to the woman. It seems she walked away from her demanding life. As she starts working the old kidnapping case, Sadie keeps finding parallels between the two situations.
Morton superbly weaves the three tales together jumping between eras, leaving just enough apparently unrelated clues to the whole cloth that is The Lake House. The backstory in the 1910’s is a bit bloated, dragging down the pace of the first third of the book.
After that, as Morton leads the reader through the different situations, the reader gets caught up. By the end, the threads have come together in a completely unexpected pattern. The final twist is unexpected and the crown of the book. I kept shaking my head in appreciation as I thought it through when I finished the last page.
For a stunning suspense novel, you won’t go wrong with Kate Morton’s The Lake House.
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