My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sea Scope is the first book I’ve read by Debbie De Louise. It’s a mystery / suspense / thriller novel with a bunch of light moments and several page-turning-gotta-find-the-killer moments. I enjoy books with a great balance, especially when the author also throws in fun facts about the history of lighthouses. I should also mention, a small portion of the book takes place on Long Island, not too far from where I grew up. Of course, I have to read it, right?
Let’s pique your interest a little… someone died in a lighthouse ~20 years ago. All but one member of the family left town. An aunt stayed behind and recently reopened the lighthouse as a bed and breakfast. Before inviting paying guests, she convinces her family and a few friends, who’d been around at the time the man previously died, to visit for a few days again. Although that long-ago death had been ruled a suicide, the facts never quite lined up. A drunk mother. A dead father. A peculiar maid. Her estranged daughter. A recent accident. A marriage falling apart. Rekindled sparks. Another death. We’re all too smart to believe in coincidences like those, so what really happened at Sea Scope ~20 years ago, and how is a dead guy leaving behind phone messages and cryptic notes with crayons, his calling card in his younger (and more alive) days?
At first, I was intrigued by the plot but it was a slow burn. We had hints of an unnatural death, but nothing concrete. We were being led to believe one thing about the victim only to learn many other peculiar things that didn’t fit together (until later on). I started to really engage in the story at about 40% and couldn’t put it down until the very end. I love when books creep at you for a bit before drop-kicking you into their clutches. From a character perspective, I found flaws and potential reasons why they’d all be responsible for the previous murder and the current shenanigans. No one was completely good in my eyes, even the primary character, Sarah, had some curious moments. I like when an author keeps the main players in a gray space.
From a plot perspective, De Louise took us places I hadn’t expected. I knew two characters were ‘involved’ somehow, but when the chips completely fell, the alliances and ties and relationships were far deeper than I imagined. What a family! What an imagination! Kudos to De Louise for pushing the envelope a bit without going into specific details. We get a clear picture of the truth, but we also have a nice layer between us and the impacts it’s left behind. It made for a great story with a ton of red herrings and a brilliant confrontation in the end. There were complex layers, which made some characters see one thing, and others see another thing. Who do you believe? Although we get an ending, it’s the type of novel where you walk away thinking… I’m not sure the story ended there. What sorta tricks does this author have up her sleeve for the future!?!? I’d be thrilled with a follow-up, so no complaints here.
I’m glad I took a chance on a new author… and I look forward to more things to come from her future!
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For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.