I’ve read every one of Kate Morton’s novels. They’re all good. I think my favorite is still her first one, though: THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN. Started right out of the gate with suspense and intrigue.
Norton takes her time setting her stories up. Sometimes too long. With THE LAKE HOUSE I was intrigued from the start. I fell for the crumbling and abandoned house in Cornwall near the sea. Imagine being out for a walk with the dogs and finding a hidden world. That’s how I felt. This old place covered in dust and ivy had been left alone for almost seventy years. A family abandoned this amazing place, quickly. There were still books on the nightstand, left halfway read. All the personal possessions seem to have been left behind many years ago. Of course this is a monumental mystery for a young woman who works as a detective in London. She is visiting her grandfather, getting away from the rigors of a tough case that went awry.
The story begins in Cornwall, England. The year is 1933. It’s summertime. And someone is sneaking out into the woods beyond the grand manor to bury something important…
The first real chapter shows Sadie, who is the detective, out walking the dogs and coming across the old, abandoned house. The year is 2004. This house began calling me like an old friend. I wanted to be there. I wanted to pry open one of the doors or windows and make the house give up its secrets. So did Sadie. But time will tell is the theme of this big story.
Sadie is away from her job in London. She’s made an error in judgement that might just cost her her job. But she quickly discovers a mystery surrounding the old house, and in she dives, head first.
Who were the owners of the old manor? Well, the Edevane family were well-ensconced in this big family home in the 1930’s. Until along came the war and the man of the house was swept off to join the forces like so many others. Eleanor was left alone with a small baby daughter, then another on the way. And then another: all girls. Anthony’s girls were wild to have him back in the fold. But Anthony had witnessed and experienced grave injustices and horrid events during his time at war. Would he ever be the same?
On the night of Midsummer’s Eve the Edevane’s threw a festive party; family and friends came from miles around. The main event was to be the fireworks at midnight. And then something went wrong. Theo, the eleven-month old son of Eleanor and Anthony Edevane, was found missing from his bed the next morning. This mysterious novel is focused on this disappearance. However, there is much more at stake here. Sadie has a past that we slowly figure out. And Morton does a good job of twining the two stories. Plus, Anthony’s war experiences come to light and shine a beam on the situation.
Once again we find that no one is who we think they are. The story was gripping. The sense of place drew me in. I have my boss to thank for lending me her review copy.