My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A Matter of Latitude is the second book I’ve read by author Isobel Blackthorn. In this tale of corruption and psychological fear, readers get to know Celestino and Paula, a married couple with a young daughter who live in the Canary Islands. From the gripping opening when Celestino is nearly killed in a car accident, attacked by a dog, and almost swallowed by the sea, we know we’re in for a traumatic ride…
The novel alternates between Celestino and Paula as they attempt to find their way back to one another. Celestino is wounded and knows someone is trying to kill him. He’s an artist who was trying to work on a painting with a client, but there seems to be something going on with his role in the widespread corruption occurring throughout Lanzarote, the island where they live. Paula is waiting for him to return for their daughter’s birthday party, but he never shows. She relies on her parents, who’ve moved to the island during retirement, but they aren’t as helpful as they could be. Throw in a few neighbors and friends, and Paula spends most of the book tracking down Celestino’s whereabouts on the day of the storm when he went missing. What she learns about her husband is not something she’s prepared to understand. Is he dead? Has he crossed to the evil side? Is he purposely leaving her in suspense? Is he protecting her from someone? Celestino finally finds some help, but it might be too late for him to return home further unharmed. Add in a couple more deaths, and this thriller will have you nonstop guessing what’s going on with this captivating couple.
Blackthorn’s writing prowess can easily be seen in her descriptions. She always leaves a clear visual of the landscape, expressions, and action happening on each of the pages. I particularly enjoy how her novels are set outside of an area where I have any familiarity. Despite not having been to the islands, I feel like I know them well now. I also like the details she provides about each character’s background and personality, enabling readers to feel connected to the tale as if they’re involved in the action themselves. Another strength is the layers involved in the corruption on the island. While we’re fairly certain how to feel about the primary couple, beyond them, I couldn’t tell who was innocent and who was guilty. From the kind / not-so-kind neighbor, to the best friends, to the guy following Paula around begging for help… one of them had to be involved. But who!?! Blackthorn kept me guessing until the very end. A good pay-off too…
If you enjoy international stories full of drama and culture, this is definitely one to put on your list. There’s a fine balance of intrigue and serene comfort between all the action that leaves you thirsty for more of the author’s work. Beyond a few books on the Canary Islands, there are others in her canon, too. I’m excited to check them out in the coming months.
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If you missed my Author Alert & Spotlight on Isobel Blackthorn last week, check it out here.
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 five books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. 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.