Kate Morton is the second author whose entire bibliography I have read. She is one of my favourite authors to read and I’ve enjoyed most of her novels. Her latest, The Lake House, was a novel I looked forward to reading and it didn’t disappoint when I picked it up. It’s the typical type of mystery novel I enjoy reading: interwoven tales, different time periods, family drama, mysteries waiting to be solved and secrets waiting to be uncovered.
The Lake House is set in different time periods, from the early 1900s, 1930s and 1940 to current and spanning over The Great War and WWII. It tells the story of the Edevane family in 1933 – Eleanor and Anthony and their four children: Deborah, Alice, Clementine and Theo. On the night of the Midsummer party celebrations, the youngest child, Theo goes missing. After police investigation and search for Theo became fruitless, the family abandons their lake house, Loeanneth forever.
In 2003 a police detective, Sadie Sparrow, disgraced after spilling information about a case to the press, takes (forced) leave to visit her grandfather in Cornwall. She stumbles upon the abandoned lake house while out running with her grandfather’s dogs and asked around about the house and the people who lived in it. Strangely drawn to the house, she decided to pick up the cold case on Theo’s apparent abduction.
Alice Edevane, who was 16 years old at the time of the tragedy, and an aspiring author, is now an elderly woman and accomplished crime author. Alice, who has kept a secret from her family, blaming herself for Theo’s disappearance was shook up when she discovered that a detective is asking around about the terrible event in her family’s past. Seventy years later, Alice is forced to either come out with what she knows about Theo or try to cover up as much as she knows. She chose to do the later, until her sister Deborah confides in her about something that happened with one of their gardeners (who she was in love with) that could lead to other clues of what happened to her baby brother. Hearing her sister out, she realizes that what she thought she knew and what really happened might not be the same thing.
Alice and her personal assistant, Peter, lends their help to Sadie to discover the truth of what happened to Theo on that fateful night in 1933. Family secrets gets discovered and a lot of mysteries that Alice has wondered about finally became clear – like why her grandmother’s loathed her husband’s best friend, why Ben (the gardener she was in love with) disappeared from Loeanneth, her mother’s strange behaviour following Theo’s disappearance and her father suffering from shell shock after the Great War, which their parents hid from their children and society by playing the “private and reserved Edevane family”.
The novel is laced with all that makes a mystery novel a page turner. Even though I did not read the novel as quickly as I normally would, The Lake House had me completely absorbed in the Edevane family’s story. Characters from the earlier time periods and present day are linked and if you read closely, you would pick up the final twist in the story long before it actually happened. Although not as surprising, the ending and revelation gave me such pleasure (I exclaimed “I knew it!” to myself around 2am in the morning, such was my delight). Regardless of twists in the story that could easily be predictable, this story is engrossing and Kate Morton once again didn’t disappoint. If you’re a fan, you simply have to pick this one up!