Book Review: The Secrets of Lake Road by Karen Katchur

The Secrets of Lake Road
Author: Karen Katchur
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Mystery
Released: August 4th 2015
Review Source: Thomas Dunne Books

A haunting story about the destructive power of secrets, this accomplished and gripping suspenseful women's fiction debut is perfect for fans of Lisa Scottoline and Heather Gudenkauf

Jo has been hiding the truth about her role in her high school boyfriend’s drowning for sixteen years. Every summer, she drops her children off with her mother at the lakeside community where she spent summers growing up, but cannot bear to stay herself; everything about the lake reminds her of the guilt she feels. For her daughter Caroline, however, the lake is a precious world apart; its familiarity and sameness comforts her every year despite the changes in her life outside its bounds. At twelve years old and caught between childhood and adolescence, she longs to win her mother’s love and doesn’t understand why Jo keeps running away.

Then seven-year-old Sara Starr goes missing from the community beach. Rescue workers fail to uncover any sign of her—but instead dredge up the bones Jo hoped would never be discovered, shattering the quiet lakeside community’s tranquility. Caroline was one of the last people to see Sara alive on the beach, and feels responsible for her disappearance. She takes it upon herself to figure out what happened to the little girl. As Caroline searches for Sara, she uncovers the secrets her mother has been hiding, unraveling the very foundation of everything she knows about herself and her family. The Secrets of Lake Road by Karen Katchur is a riveting novel that is impossible to put down and hard to forget.

You know, The Secrets of Lake Road was real surprising read for me, but I’m pretty sure that’s due to the fact that I read like three sentences of description before I said yes. Going into books blind can be the best, not knowing what to expect, at all, and getting no clue as to what will eventually transpire. So with that being said, this is a book to go blind into, so do it, and then come back.

Every summer Jo and her family would visit their cabin at the lake, but an unfortunate event at the beginning of the summer brings up old secrets and heavy wounds. Six year old Sara Starr drowns in the beginning of the summer and while the recovery team tries to recover her body they recover a bone from a boy named Billy that had drowned years back which raises questions of it truly being an accident or not.

I was actually surprised about how much of a mystery this book turned out to be. Going back in forth between the future and past, unveiling the truth about Billy’s drowning and the involvement Jo and her husband had in the matter. A lot of the story too was about Caroline, Jo’s daughter, who thought she could have prevented the drowning of Sarah, but is now set out on finding the answers about Billy and her parent’s involvement. Mystery aspect of the story aside, a lot of the book focused on the not so perfect relationship between Jo and Caroline, well actually a lot was focused on Jo and all the not so pleasant relationships she’s forged.

I may have thought this book was slow at times, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching all the small clues getting put together, understanding why Jo is so closed off, and seeing Caroline uncover her family’s secrets. Definitely one you’ll want to pick up.

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