Stone Cove Island
I picked up this book because it has been in comparison with Stephen King and The Stepford Wives–one in every of my favorite writers, and considered one of my favourite books. Bonus: at 241 pages Stone Cove Island promised to be a quick, and hopefully thrilling, learn. Nicely, it is fast…
And yes, like King’s Delores Claiborne, it takes place on a small New England island filled with buried secrets. And sure, as in Stepford, Stone Cove Island is dwelling to a nefarious secret society devoted to maintaining the town picture perfect. Add to this a hurricane, an enigmatic hate letter, a 25-year-outdated unsolved murder, plus one Nancy-Drew-and-Hardy-Boy-esque duo, and Stone Cove Island seems primed to be a thrill-ride of a mystery. Sadly, this story promises a level of sophistication past what it in the end delivers.
The opening chapters are haunting and engaging in their very own, salty way. First, (via a diary entry written by our narrator’s mom, Willa) we learn about Bess, a teenager who was murdered on the island back within the 1980’s and the hateful letter Bess acquired just days earlier than she died. Subsequent, we flash forward 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 introduced to the quaint and remoted island of Stone Cove. It is here (and sadly, only here) that the story shines with authenticity. We get a vivid picture of a close-knit, nautical neighborhood with sturdy, conservative family values. We also meet Charlie, current high-college graduate, aspiring journalist/sleuth, and apparent love curiosity. Collectively, Eliza and Charlie decide to do something to assist the city. Whereas cleaning up storm debris in the island’s lighthouse, Eliza discovers the aforementioned letter to Bess, takes it to her parents and learns concerning the unsolved murder 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 in the lighthouse; so who killed her and why, and what did they do with her body Seems like we’ve got the workings of a thriller here, and Charlie is eager to help Eliza remedy it. Feels like enjoyable, right
Besides, it’s not exactly. Because solving this thriller includes the stale searching of plenty of library microfiche and Willa’s outdated diary entries, plus interviewing lots of flat characters who, regardless of their dedication to retaining this secret stone island legit check a secret, are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 right here. After all, this is a 25-year-old cold case, and the principle suspects (a.ok.a. the leaders of the black anchor society) are not all that threatening–seeing as how they by no means actually threaten Eliza or Charlie.
That mentioned, Stone Cove Island is a web page turner, and all through the vast majority of the story I maintained excessive hopes for a strong ending. Then, about three-quarters of the best way in, issues become arduous to swallow. (Semi-Spoiler) First, out of nowhere, the local authorities reopen the case and Eliza’s mom 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 study specifics–making the entire `arrest’ feel like nothing more than a plot machine.
Then, it happens. Eliza and Charlie uncover the big (however ambiguous) clue.
(Enormous SPOILERS!) Turns out, Bess was the one who wrote that hate letter to herself all those years in the past. She compiled it out of previous English essays she wrote (as a result of, hey, why not ). While the revelation is intriguing, the lightening-fast conclusion that our sleuths arrive at comes Means TOO Straightforward: Bess will need to have faked her dying… It takes Eliza and Charlie one stolen boat trip and a library publication, and they observe Bess down, piece of cake. Even simpler: 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 plays out like this:
Bess: I will never return to that horrible island. (End Chapter)
(Next Chapter) Bess returns to the horrible island–“although it took some convincing.” …That is literally all we get.
Like the rest of Stone Cove Island, this ending had some severe potential. However, ultimately, because of a lack of vivid plot and character growth it feels contrived, stone island legit check rushed, and hokey like a cleaning soap opera. Unlike 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.