Stone Cove Island
I picked up this book as a result of it has been in comparison with Stephen King and The Stepford Wives–one in all my favourite writers, and one of my favorite books. Bonus: at 241 pages Stone Cove Island promised to be a quick, and hopefully thrilling, read. Well, it’s fast…
And yes, like King’s Delores Claiborne, it takes place on a small New England island full of buried secrets. And yes, as in Stepford, Stone Cove Island is dwelling to a nefarious secret society dedicated to keeping the town picture perfect. Add to this a hurricane, an enigmatic hate letter, a 25-year-old unsolved murder, plus one Nancy-Drew-and-Hardy-Boy-esque duo, and Stone Cove Island seems primed to be a thrill-experience of a mystery. Unfortunately, this story promises a degree of sophistication beyond what it ultimately delivers.
The opening chapters are haunting and engaging in their own, salty way. First, (via a diary entry written by our narrator’s mother, Willa) we learn about Bess, a teenager who was murdered on the island back in the 1980’s and the hateful letter Bess received simply days earlier than she died. Subsequent, we flash ahead 25 years to our narrator, Eliza, as she offers with the aftermath of a hurricane that simply ravaged her island. As Eliza walks the debris-littered streets, we’re launched to the quaint and remoted island of Stone Cove. It’s here (and sadly, solely right here) that the story shines with authenticity. We get a vivid picture of a close-knit, nautical community with strong, conservative family values. We also meet Charlie, recent high-faculty graduate, aspiring journalist/sleuth, and apparent love curiosity. Collectively, Eliza and Charlie resolve to do one thing to help the city. Whereas cleaning up storm debris in the island’s lighthouse, Eliza discovers the aforementioned letter to Bess, takes it to her mother and father and learns about the unsolved homicide which has been stored a secret by the island-people all these years. Nutshelled: Bess disappeared, leaving nothing behind however a pile of severed hair and a bloody shirt within the lighthouse; so who killed her and why, and what did they do with her body Looks like we have the workings of a mystery right here, and Charlie is keen to assist Eliza resolve it. Seems like enjoyable, proper
Besides, it isn’t exactly. As a result of fixing this mystery involves the stale shopping of plenty of library microfiche and Willa’s old diary entries, plus interviewing plenty of flat characters who, regardless of their dedication to protecting this secret a secret, are super willing to gossip and share shades of what we already know. Despite one tepid warning for Eliza to stop snooping if she’s knows what’s good for her, there is simply no urgency or tension Stone Island Jumpers Jackets right here. In stone island comfort shell spite of everything, this can be a 25-yr-previous cold case, and the main suspects (a.k.a. the leaders of the black anchor society) are not all that threatening–seeing as how they never truly threaten Eliza or Charlie.
That stated, Stone Cove Island is a web page turner, and all through the vast majority of the story I maintained excessive hopes for a solid ending. Then, about three-quarters of the way in, things change into hard to swallow. (Semi-Spoiler) First, out of nowhere, the native authorities reopen the case and Eliza’s mother is hauled in as their #1 suspect. Eliza guesses their suspicion has to do with one thing written in Willa’s diary, however we never learn specifics–making the whole `arrest’ feel like nothing more than a plot device.
Then, it happens. Eliza and Charlie uncover the big (however ambiguous) clue.
(Large SPOILERS!) Seems, Bess was the one who wrote that hate letter to herself all these years in the past. She compiled it out of previous English essays she wrote (because, hey, why not ). While the revelation is intriguing, the lightening-quick conclusion that our sleuths arrive at comes Approach TOO Easy: Bess will need to have faked her loss of life… It takes Eliza and Charlie one stolen boat trip and a library publication, they usually track Bess down, piece of cake. Even easier: convincing Bess to return to the island to turn herself in after she swears to them she will never return to the island. It pretty much performs out like this:
Bess: I won’t ever return to that horrible island. (Finish Chapter)
(Subsequent Chapter) Bess returns to the horrible island–“although it took some convincing.” …That is literally all we get.
Like the remainder of Stone Cove Island, this ending had stone island comfort shell some serious potential. However, ultimately, due to a lack of vivid plot and character development it feels contrived, rushed, and hokey like a cleaning soap opera. Not like King and Stepford, there’s not a lot intellectually or emotionally heavy about Stone Cove…even because it manages to sink like a black anchor.