Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jerjen
Riley MacPherson has returned home to New Bern, North Carolina, to settle her father’s estate after his death. She has to deal with the house, her father’s RV and the RV park that he owned. She also has to deal with her brother, Danny, who has many emotional problems to deal with. He was injured in combat and has been having trouble dealing with his injury and his life. There was no love lost between Danny and his father, and Danny does not want to help Riley take care of any of his father’s belongings. He wants nothing to do with his past or his family’s past.
Someone does want to help with settling the affairs and sell the house. Riley’s mother’s old friend Jeannie Lyons and her daughter, Christine, cannot wait to tackle the house and get it on the market. But Riley is getting bad vibes from Jeannie and after she finds out that Jeannie and her father were lovers, she really has trouble dealing with her. Riley is also getting bad vibes from Tom and Verniece Kyle, a couple that has lived at the RV park for a long time. Riley’s father left them his expensive pipe collection, which surprised her because she did not realize that they were that close. The more time she spends around the people who knew her father, the more she realizes that she did not know her father very well.
When Riley starts cleaning out her father’s belongings, she finds evidence that indicates that her family has been living a lie. Riley and her brother Danny have grown up believing that their sister, Lisa, committed suicide when Riley was very young. Why did her family make up the story of the suicide and is her sister still alive? These are questions that Riley has to try to find answers to, but the more digging she does, she finds more questions, not answers. I do not want to give away any more of the plot because I do not want to spoil the book for would-be readers.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The book is written in the first person perspective, and although I do not usually like this perspective, it worked very well for this book. The suspense builds throughout the entire book and there are many unexpected twists and turns that add to the drama. Diane Chamberlain is a master at plotting and characterization, and this book is no exception.
The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional. Riley and her brother Danny are especially easy to care about and worry about. I felt sorry for both of them. Riley because she wanted to have a loving relationship with her brother but it seemed like an impossible dream. And Danny because he was so depressed and angry all the time, even though we do not know the specific reasons behind the anger. The family dynamics are very dysfunctional and this is very well displayed throughout the book. The family relationship is one of the best parts of the book, in my opinion.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted suspense read. I have read many of Diane Chamberlain’s books and I have liked everyone of them. She really knows how to develop characters, build suspense and use twists and turns to keep you guessing throughout the entire book.