Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review: The Secret of Lighthouse Pointe

I love historical novels, so it was a delight to be offered the chance to review a Gothic romantic suspense novel, set in a spooky old New England house, complete with a decrepit lighthouse. However, I couldn't post a review of this one without making the following disclaimer. Patty G. Henderson and I are both members of the online Sisters in Crime (Guppies) chapter and occasionally interact on the chapter's email list. That said, the following is, in my opinion, a fair and honest review of The Secret of Lighthouse Pointe.

From the first page I was caught up in the desperation of her heroine. Patty G. Henderson excels in writing great characters. Constance Beechum is a penniless young woman teetering on the brink of suicide after being dismissed from her job. The arrival of a letter from her uncle is the call to adventure that saves her from herself. He has arranged a job for her.

Elizabeth Gerard, the dying matriarch of the family, is in need of a nurse. Accepting the job plunges Constance into the shady world of the Gerard family. It is no secret that the Gerard brothers want their mother dead. They view Constance as an impediment to their inheritance and plot to get her out of the house. Constance must confront their open hostility to her presence in the household, cope with unwelcome advances from both the Gerard brothers, and try to make Elizabeth’s last days easier. The job is complicated by her attraction to Elizabeth’s mysterious tenant, George Kane.

Patty G. Henderson has well honed skill as a storyteller. Her pacing kept me turning pages. The plot turns on dark, sometimes sinister, secrets. The Secret of Lighthouse Pointe captures the mood of the dark brooding family and its decaying fortunes very well. The only place where Henderson fails is that in 1812 one could not send a telegram. Fortunately, the error occurred near the end of the book and did not stop me from enjoying an overall excellent read.

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