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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

REVIEW: The Storm King by Brendan Duffy @Brendan_Duffy @randomhouse

The Storm King
by Brendan Duffy

Thank you so much to Ballantine Books for this amazing copy in return for my honest opinion.
A tale of friendship, vengeance and how what the lake takes, the lake gives back.  An extraordinary read you must put on your TBR!

Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Publishing: February 6, 2018
Pages: 400
Genres:  Mystery, Suspense, Fiction

Goodreads Synopsis:

Haunted by dark secrets and an unsolved mystery, a young doctor returns to his isolated Adirondacks hometown in a tense, atmospheric novel in the vein of Michael Koryta and Harlan Coben.

Burying the past only gives it strength--and fury.

Nate McHale has assembled the kind of life most people would envy. After a tumultuous youth marked by his inexplicable survival of a devastating tragedy, Nate left his Adirondack hometown of Greystone Lake and never looked back. Fourteen years later, he's become a respected New York City surgeon, devoted husband, and loving father.

Then a body is discovered deep in the forests that surround Greystone Lake.

This disturbing news finally draws Nate home. While navigating a tense landscape of secrets and suspicion, resentments and guilt, Nate reconnects with estranged friends and old enemies, and encounters strangers who seem to know impossible things about him. Haunting every moment is the Lake's sinister history and the memory of wild, beautiful Lucy Bennett, with whom Nate is forever linked by shattering loss and youthful passion.

As a massive hurricane bears down on the Northeast, the air becomes electric, the clouds grow dark, and escalating acts of violence echo events from Nate's own past. Without a doubt, a reckoning is coming--one that will lay bare the lies that lifelong friends have told themselves and unleash a vengeance that may consume them all.

My Review:

Nate became "The Boy Who Fell"... when his family's car careens into a lake, he's the only survivor.  In a small town, legends and stories are all too real and now he is a part of it implicitly.  He leaves, marries, has his own child and gives back by becoming a well respected surgeon for kids with cancer.  Then he gets called back to his hometown for a funeral.  With the impending storm, Madea, approaching, his return brings forth memories he soon would rather forget.  A reunion with his old crew and how what goes around does indeed come around.

Let me just tell you all now, I ADORE this book!  The author takes you on Nate's journey, from the day he "fell", to the present, to his school days past and then back.  Never once are you confused as the chapter titles are aptly set up so you know where you're landing - from "The Boy Who Fell" to "Graduation Day" to numbered present day chapters and so on.  While we mainly see this story through Nate's eyes, we periodically are given a different POV as things are revealed so you get the whole feel of a scene as we realize that one action provokes reactions from the characters differently.  I love getting the full circle consequences.  Most people are so caught up in their own little world, they don't realize that their actions, comments, etc. affect people differently. 

My favorite parts of this book was the camaraderie of the boys and their Thunder Runs - in their young world, the sense of vengeance they deemed necessary created their brotherhood.. including the token girl, Nate's first love and the funeral that he came back for - Lucy.  The author sets up the story through the first half and we get the sense of why Nate is hesitant to be home and why things are starting to happen.  And nothing is more appropriate than it all happening during the Madea storm... churning up the Lake that has a hold on the people in this town.  Then we get into the last half and it's full throttle - this is where I did not want to put the book down.

I personally think Duffy did a brilliant job in bringing everything together.  We empathize with the pack mentality and the young mistakes that are made.  Remembering how, as a child, your world is smaller and you see things so much differently than you do as an adult.  Then also realizing as an adult, how your actions as a child can cause a ripple effect.  A truly wonderful atmospheric read that I highly recommend to those who love that mystery set in a small town and whose characters you love and loath to get to know. 

This is truly a novel of friendship, vengeance and the coming of age in which you either accept what the lake takes and then gives back, or never learn and must deal with the consequences. 


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