When I was working at the bookstore a couple months ago one of the customers saw this book and said it was OK, but nothing special. If she was looking for a romance, she would be right. But this novel is more the mystery and the romances are part of the story. After the first chapter I was hooked.
Jo Ellen Hathaway is a professional photographer living on her own. Someone is stalking her and sending her photographs of herself wherever she is. When she opens an envelope and discovers a picture of her mother who has been missing 20 years, she collapses with a nervous breakdown. The picture shows her mother dead.
After she leaves the hospital, she returns to her childhood home on a small island off the Georgia coast. The name of the old home is Sanctuary. Yet it is a house of bitter, lonely people. All had been affected when Annabelle Hathaway disappeared 20 years earlier. Her husband could not face that she had left him. The three children, Jo, her older brother Brian, and her younger sister Alexa, lost their loving parents.
Jo cannot tell her family what is happening to her. She has been relying on herself too long. Brian will not let himself get close to anyone. They could leave again like his mother did. Lexy is jealous of her sister's success when she did not make it in New York City as an actress. Their father spends all his time walking the island, caring for it.
Nathan Delany returns to the island after twenty years. He had visited there as a child, and has come back to relive old memories now that his family has all died. Nathan remembers Jo the child, and is attracted to Jo the adult. Jo will not let anyone get close to her.
But the stalker has followed Jo to the island. After she receives more pictures of herself taken there, she finally turns to her family with the truth. They now have to either stay fragmented or come together for Jo's sake.
Engrossing is a good word for this book. About three fourths of the way through the book I knew who the stalker probably was, yet I had to see the story all the way through. Fittingly, the final confrontation is played out in the middle of a hurricane.
Notice: Non-graphic violence, Strong sexual content
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These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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