Thursday, March 26, 2020

Atmospheric Australian Mystery/Thriller Engrossing and Surprising

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

It's been two decades since Eliza Carmody left her hometown of Kinsale and she's not thrilled to be going back.  Especially because her visit is in her official capacity as a lawyer—for Colcart, the company locals blame for the devastating, deadly wildfire that nearly destroyed the town.  As Public Enemy Number One, her plan is to sneak in and out of Kinsale with no one, not her family, not the few friends she has left, being the wiser.  Stealth goes out the window when Eliza witnesses a startling crime committed by an old acquaintance.  Soon, her presence is known by everyone, forcing her to confront her estranged sister, her father—a former cop who's been in a vegetative state for a year following an accident—and the anger of a town simmering with grief and searching for answers.

When Eliza learns that human remains have been found near a local historic home, she's too curious to leave Kinsale.  She knows the place has secrets, secrets that may be tied to the disappearance of her best friend back in high school.  Against her better judgment, Eliza finds herself becoming deeply embroiled in these hometown dramas.  Determined to find the truth behind the bones, the fire, and the disappearance of her best friend, she must decide whom she can trust and how far she will go to uncover the long-held secrets of the town to which she never wanted to return.

Second Sight by Aoife Clifford is a taut, twisty Australian thriller that kept me totally engrossed.  It's atmospheric, compelling, and surprising.  I didn't see the murderer coming, which is always a bonus.  The novel is unrelentingly depressing and bleak, true, but I still quite enjoyed Second Sight.  I'm looking forward to reading more from Clifford.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of books by Jane Harper, including The Dry, Force of Nature, and The Lost Man)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language, violence, and sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

7 comments:

  1. It is tough, even for a fictional character, to avoid the lure of a hometown. And a hometown that has crimes to solve? She's doomed. :-)

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  2. Coming home is often full of mixed feelings and this definitely sounds like the case here. This sounds good, but I am saving bleak stories until I can get back out in the sun and this health scare is gone. Great review Susan.

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  3. Sounds like another one to add to my TBR list. If only my library would reopen so I could start checking out some of these books! :)

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  4. I definitely am putting this one on my TBR. You mentioned that it was like Jane Harper's books and I've liked those. And who doesn't need a little Australian crime fiction now and then. Thanks for reviewing it!

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  5. Any time remains are discovered I'm using going to stick around for the book so I can understand the heroine sticking around the home town! This sounds good and I haven't read many Australian thrillers so I'm adding to my TBR.

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  6. I haven't heard too much about this author despite her being Australian.

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  7. The cover is a real eye-catcher, and the plot you describe is interesting. I don't normally read a lot of Australian fiction, so I'm not familiar with the author, but this one sounds pretty good for sure.

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