24 May 2013

by Rachael Wyatt
Published by Coteau Books
Review by Michelle Shaw
$14.95 ISBN 9781550505177

Candace Wilson is missing. She left home for an early dentist appointment and then vanished. Now the little town of Ghills Lake is enveloped in suspicion.

One of the town’s inhabitants, an anonymous chat-room regular known only as Marguerite, has seen something and seems determined to stir up suspicion. But then she too is felled by an accident…

As a lover of mysteries, I eagerly dipped into veteran author Rachael Wyatt’s latest book. It wasn’t quite what I expected. I’d never read one of her books before so, from the description, I was expecting a fast paced mystery. Instead, I was caught up in a psychologically layered chronicle of the suspicion that surrounds the various people in Candace’s life.

Candace’s husband Jack is stressed and frustrated by the innumerable delays in his multi-million dollar housing development that, he is sure, will transform sleepy little Ghills Lake. Did he lash out in a stress-induced rage? Or was he perhaps overcome with fury when he found out about Candace’s brief affair? Could her sister be responsible? Erica and Candace have been at odds for years, and she and her husband Simon are vehemently and actively opposed to Jack’s new development. Simon seems a particularly suspicious character. He’s a frustrated and rather mediocre painter who seems far more concerned about his sister-in-law’s disappearance than his wife does. Candace’s dad is also behaving strangely. And then there’s Candace’s ex-lover.

Wyatt doesn’t spill information. The details of past events and the inner thoughts of each character are slowly revealed as each one goes about their daily lives under an oppressive cloud of suspicion. The pace of the book is carefully controlled as Wyatt slowly heightens the tension and the hours tick by.

Rachel Wyatt is an award-winning author of novels, short fiction, stage and radio plays, and non-fiction works.


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