By Carlene Thompson
St. Martin’s Paperbacks, $7.99, 336 pages
To the Grave starts with a bang – in a creepy cottage, on a starless night, in a town called Aurora Falls. Renee, the willful ex-wife of gentlemanly lawyer James Eastman, has returned to town after a year away. Within moments, a stranger wordlessly shoots Renee straight through the eye.
Writer Carlene Thompson’s heroine is Catherine Gray, a newly minted psychologist who returns to Aurora Falls after her mother dies. Catherine is full of doubt about her new practice and her relationship with James. Soon she doubts James’ innocence, as well, when she stumbles upon Renee’s body at his family’s cottage.
As the story unfolds, we are introduced to a myriad of flat and uninteresting characters – any one of which could be Renee’s killer. The story is further complicated by extraneous side stories and plot twists, rendered in overwrought prose.
“The power surged through him. He could take her away from James, from her family — from the people who hated her.”
To the Grave is Thompson’s fifteenth novel and it could have used a stronger editor. However, the elements of an effective thriller are there for the taking if one is willing to overlook the book’s many flaws.
Reviewed by Kelley Duron