Indian Summer

Thomas Dunne: St. Martin's. Jun. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9781250121035. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250121042. F
Sir Mungo Kerslake, 1960s theater and film icon and perpetual bachelor, is spending the waning days of summer in the family compound in Devon. The estate, inherited by Mungo's older brother Archie and Archie's wife, Camilla, is in constant need of costly repairs. To assist with the upkeep, Archie lets out two cottages, one to a writer and the other to a young mother. Joining the cadre is Kit Chadwick, Mungo's friend from his theater days, bringing a letter from a long-lost love. Ever present is the ghost of Izzy Trent, musical theater actress and tragic figure. Loved by all, Izzy, delicate and needy, never recovered from being ill-treated by fellow actor Ralph. Desired by both Izzy and Mungo, Ralph disappeared from their lives years ago after the three had a terrible row. To outsiders, the estate may seem a quiet, uneventful, and idyllic setting, the perfect place to find peace away from stifling London. Yet, for each character there are undercurrents and painful secrets that might cause the entire production to fall to pieces.
VERDICT Willett (The Songbird) transports readers to bucolic Devon, where the heat and the story simmer but never boil. This well-written but tepid tale may please fans of Jill Mansell.
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