This was a new CD book in my local library, and it looked interesting so I picked it up. It’s a big one, so if you want to read it, be prepared!
Stats: The audio version is 18 discs – 21 hours and 24″, Read by Caroline Lee, print book published in Oct 2015, 593 pages.
Blurb: (Goodreads) Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.
What I liked: I really like Morton’s style of writing – very flowing, a bit flowery but not over top. She was able to take you to the Edevane family summer cottage and really feel for the people involved. It is very well written. She knows how to construct a good sentence and leaves you hanging in just the right places, bouncing back and forth between the present and the past but…(I’ll get to that below). It is a good story and enjoyable to listen to but…(I’ll get to that too). I wonder if her other books are similar. Caroline Lee does a wonderful job of narrating. You got a hint of different voices at time, other times it more obvious, but enjoyable all the way through.
What I didn’t like: All those buts… There were places where she went over the top with describing the background information. For example, she created a scene – complete with dialogue – of when Alice’s mother met her father, as well as when her mother was a little girl. It was all well written, as I mentioned earlier, but it could have been handled in a much quicker and just as effective way. The biggest killer of this story came at the end. (I am hinting at the spoiler here so don’t read this next sentence if you don’t want the hint) I just couldn’t suspend disbelief when long lost people connect. I’d have overlooked all the extra material if she hadn’t done that last bit. Too tidy. Too unbelievable. The subplot of police officer Sparrow’s case is more believable.
Rating: 3.5/5 because of that bit at the end and the un-needed length.