William Morrow | 12 July 2022 | 336 pgs
Source: Library 

I've enjoyed most of Carol Goodman's books I read thus far. She's excellent in creating atmospheric settings and a cast of intriguing characters and this book is no exception. And as much as I enjoyed the above, I wasn't in love with this book. 

To begin with, the premise was good. It was set in several years after the 2020 pandemic but a new virus surfaces (yikes!). Lucy Harper and her husband, Reed, decided to seek refuge on his family’s private island off the coast of Maine together with a few of their close friends. The group of seven understood the threat of the outside world and thought it was a good choice to stay isolated, with minimal Internet and social media if possible (especially the latter since they didn't want to announce their location). As they quarantined themselves in the island, the dark history of the island resurfaced as Lucy found a journal chronicling the island’s history as a quarantine hospital for typhus patients and that the island might be cursed after what happened in the past, involving one of Reed's ancestors. But Reed was reluctant to say more regarding the past, either he was spooked or there's some dark family secrets. 

Lucy didn't give up and continued in reading the journal discreetly. It was also at that moment that the dynamics between the group started to change and some members started to badmouth and take sides. It wasn't until an incident happened and the group started to wonder if the island was indeed haunted or if someone amongst them had an agenda including murder. 

This book has all the tropes for a locked room mystery. Atmospheric setting, a cast of intriguing characters, a mysterious past surrounding the location and/or characters; and a murder that changed all the dynamics. All these elements sound intriguing but the pace was slow, the characters unlikeable and while the journal entries were interesting, they're long and most of all, I thought the motives in the end felt a bit flat (and ridiculous) to me. That said, Carol Goodman is a good writer and I hope her next book will be better. 

I took an unexpected blogging break so this explains my belated post and also my absence in blogs commenting. I can't believe 2022 is coming to an end soon and I hope next year will be a better one in every aspect. Usually this time around, I'd have a post of my favourite reads of the year ready (or posted) but I've not written anything since I've yet to go through my list due to my break. ­čśů Still, I'll have it done soon and last but not least, I hope the new year bring you happiness, peace and prosperity! 

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10 Responses
  1. Lark Says:

    I can't believe we're on the doorstep of 2023 either...where did the year go? At least we got to read some very fun books together this year, and I'm looking forward to reading many more next year. Hope you have a Happy New Year, Melody! :D

  2. Melody Says:

    Lark - I'm definitely looking forward to more of our buddy reads next year, Lark! Happy New Year to you too! :D

  3. Harvee Says:

    I like books with atmospheric settings but will pass on this one because of your review. Hope you will have many good reads in 2023

  4. Melody Says:

    Harvee - I wanted to love this book but it just didn't work for me. Hope next year will be a great reading year for you too, Harvee!

  5. I hope you have a Happy New Year too, Melody!

  6. Melody Says:

    Wendy - Happy New Year to you & your family, Wendy!

  7. The premise of this book is intriguing, but I'm not ready to read about another virus just yet, lol! Too bad it was slow paced and the motive was disappointing.

  8. Melody Says:

    Diana - I know what you mean about books on pandemic. Didn't want to read about that topic but then it's Carol Goodman book. Hope her next one will be better.

  9. Iliana Says:

    Happy New Year, Melody! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday. I have been a fan of Carol Goodman too but I haven't kept up with a lot of her newer books. And, to be honest reading about another pandemic oh boy... I'm not sure if I'm ready for that! haha.. Glad you were still able to enjoy this one and maybe one day I will get to it.

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I didn't want to read more about the pandemic, that's for sure, but because it's a new Carol Goodman book so I gave in. ;p

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