I received a free copy of this novel from BookLookBloggers in exchange for an honest review. This novel has a lot of aspects that interest me: seaside, romance, mystery, and just a bit of chilling fear. Claire Dellamare has a panic attack when she suddenly and unexpectedly shows up to meet her father at the Hotel Tourmaline on the island of Folly Shoals, Maine. The scent of the sea, the hotel garden, and the dense, loamy forest, begin to trigger memories about a past she had completely blocked out. Who is the mysterious hunter who chases her in the forest in all her nightmares? How can she convince the police she saw a woman pushed off the cliff when there’s no body to show them? Is there a connection between her mysterious past and the disappearance of Luke’s mother? How is it that she feels she can trust Luke when it usually takes her a long time to warm up to men?
Colleeen Coble tells a complex story — one that has the lives of many people being turned up on end. The main characters — Claire, Kate, and Luke — are each unique, living entirely diverse lifestyles, and yet each connected by some haunting memory that requires examination, discovery, and closure. As their lives intersect, and more secrets are uncovered, Claire and Kate begin to realize that everything they think they know about themselves has been built on lies and guilt, and that even their closest family members are not who they seem to be.
Told with piercing insight into human nature, and brought to a conclusion with faith and a degree of forgiveness, Coble reveals the layers slowly and carefully, bit by bit. I enjoyed the story and the characters very much. The web of deceit and murder goes deep and lives hang in the balance. I have to say, though, I pretty much figured out the relationships and murders quite a while before the ending sorted everything out, but I still couldn’t put the book down until I got to the very last page. The ending was satisfying and I would definitely read more of Coble’s work. She has written many other romance/suspense novels including Tidewater Inn and Rosemary Cottage. It seems, like me, she’s drawn to seaside settings. A most enjoyable read. * * * *
The Inn at Ocean’s Edge is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.