MYSTERY

The Lakehouse

Polis. Sept. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781951709105. $26.99. THRILLER
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When the naked body of a woman is found on the lakeshore near where Todd Norman has resumed building the house he began five years before, Sheriff Dwayne Sobcszak is convinced Todd is guilty. So are most of the residents of Covenant, CT, because five years earlier, Todd was acquitted of the murder of his wife, April Abbott, a local woman. Tracy Somerset, a single mom, meets Todd and falls for him before learning of his past. It turns out that the dead woman and April, plus two others who are now missing, had been at the same group shelter for teens some 14 years before. Local psychiatrist Dr. Meshulum Bakshir administered that home and he now has also disappeared. Todd’s house is torched, and he and Tracy find themselves captives of a person who is crazed with keeping things hidden.
VERDICT Clifford’s (“Jay Porter” series) sixth stand-alone (after Occam’s Razor) captivates with pell-mell action, striking characters, and a tantalizingly complex plot, yet at times is also melodramatic with shifting perspectives, cliff-hanging chapter endings, and ultimately an enigmatic finish.

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