The Creek by LJ Ross

The Creek by LJ Ross
Publisher: Dark Skies Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern


Kate Irving arrives at her grandfather’s cottage at Frenchman’s Creek in the dead of night with her young son, a small suitcase and little else. Its scattered community of fishermen, farmers, artists and jetsetters barely bat an eyelid, because theirs is a rarefied world, tucked beneath the lush forest that lines the banks of the Helford estuary, deep in the heart of Cornwall, where life is slow and people generally mind their own business. Unless, of course, your grandfather happens to be a pillar of the local community…

Kate’s left the past behind and guards her privacy and her son fiercely. She’s wary of accepting the friendship her new neighbours offer, but their kindness is too great to refuse and she begins to feel she has found her place in the world. That is, until tragedy strikes, and her new friends look to her for the answers…

Kate soon learns that the past always catches up with you, in the end—the question is, will she be able to face it, when it does?

Suspense is peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced mystery, set amidst the spectacular Cornish landscape.

Kate Irving hasn’t been back to her grandfather’s small cottage in Frenchman’s Creek since the unexpected death of her parents over fifteen years ago. Yet she has nowhere else to turn, not now she’s convinced she needs shelter for herself and her young son. Much is as she remembers it from her childhood, though her childhood friends – including the now very handsome Nick – have all grown up. But just as Kate thinks maybe she can escape the violence and constant fear she’s been surviving with her abusive husband, tragedy strikes again and Kate is shown that nowhere is safe.

This is an interesting and well plotted summerish style of mystery. While I don’t feel it’s a traditional mystery – there’s no police procedure or much of a who-dun-it style of plot – there is definitely plenty of tension in the plot of Kate leaving her abusive marriage and trying to start fresh again with the only remaining member of her family. There is a lot of characterization and character-driven plot as she reconnects with the small coastal town people and as Kate rebuilds. There is a bit of a mystery plot as well but that isn’t a strong part of the story until the second half of the book.

Readers looking for something a bit lighter and more romantic suspense likely will find this book a good fit. I found the characters sympathetic and the pace of the story is easy to read in a few sittings, but I do feel readers looking for a strong murder mystery story might find this a little light and lacking in the plot department. That said the romance is subtle and slow building with no real graphic scenes so readers used to more mystery and less romance should find that appealing.

A good book with interesting and relatable characters this is a light and fun summer read.

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