A Dark Lure, by Loreth Anne White

Survival is a journey. It is the quest that underlies all stories. No matter the geography, or culture, or era, in one form or another, the story of survival is the same story we listen to, riveted, around the flames of the hunter’s fire. Or hear from the mouth of the astronaut returned from a burning spaceship, or from the woman who trumped cancer. We listen in the hopes of learning what magic they used to conquer a great beast, to deliver a decisive victory, to make it alone down the peaks of Everest alive . . .

Wow, what a ride! This was probably the most suspenseful novel I’ve read this year so far.

Basically, it’s a story about survival: Olivia West, sole survivor of the “Watt Lake Killer” who died in prison, works anonymously on Broken Bar Ranch as its manager when a body is discovered. The victim’s remains have been put on display in the same way the dead killer used to do and weird things – coincidences? – begin to happen on Broken Bar Ranch.

A cop who worked on the side-lines of the original Watt Lake case – now dying from cancer – never believed the real killer had been apprehended and, thus, he’s out with his young daughter, Tori, to catch the right guy this time…

It’s hard to find fault with a book that’s as engaging and exciting as this one. Of course, it’s not high literature but it’s nearly perfect for what it is. At times, it shows that before this book, White wrote “romantic suspense” books for about ten years, e. g. when our heroine, Olivia, gets all excited reading:

She was turned on by the masculine beauty of his prose, the clean, muscular sentences that bespoke a latent empathy in the author.

Uhm… Right. This does read a bit weird to me but it’s easy to overlook because at no point does this book get boring: Frequent switches of perspectives and places take place but I always knew exactly what was going on which is a big plus for me. The backstory of the Watt Lake killer is told by means of a book written by Tori’s late mother and makes for chilling interludes.

Just like Tori…

Tori’s vision was blurring, and she could hear her father’s deep, rhythmic snores coming from the other room. But she was unable to put her e-reader down.

… this book kept me glued to my Kindle.

Highly recommended to anyone who likes to read a good thriller!

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