*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: A body washes up on the shores of Lake Templeton, a small town on the coast of Vancouver Island. Sharon Reese, the victim, was a dedicated government employee. Everyone liked her, but no one knew much about her. Was she hiding something? Maybe a questionable past riddled with scandal. And did it lead to her plunge to death, in a drunken stupor, off the dock outside her secluded lakefront lodge?
Was it an accident? A suicide? Or cold-blooded murder? Private Investigator, Fati Rizvi, is determined to find out.
Fati arrives in Lake Templeton to find secrets that run as deep as the City’s sewers. Everyone is hiding something and nothing is as it seems. A cult escapee. A corrupt politician. A struggling airline. A multi-million dollar public-private project to revitalize the Lake Templeton waterfront. How are they all connected?
As Fati valiantly unravels the knots, another body is found on the shore. Is it the same killer? And can Fati stop them before they strike again?
Yet another great PI/police procedural novel to share with you today – I seem to be having a really good run of them, long may it last!
What particularly stood out in this book was the main character, private investigator Fati Rizvi. Fati’s character brilliantly bucks any PI genre stereotypes and is eminently relatable. She is cool and logical, but also impulsive and thrives on danger and pressure, and avoids the softer feelings in order to keep her laser-sharp focus on the case at hand.
The plot is easy to follow, despite packing a lot in: murder, blackmail, embezzlement, drugs. The ‘closed off community’ set-up keeps the suspect pool relatively small and yet leaves plenty of scope for different personalities and potential motives, so I was kept guessing right up to the reveal.
There is also some romantic side-plot build up as the main storyline progresses and I really enjoyed the unique way in which the author chose to develop this aspect. In fact, all of the relationships introduced rang true to life for me – I felt like I was eavesdropping on Fati’s investigation, rather than reading about it!
Overall, this is a neat, well-constructed PI mystery novel, but it was the characters and their development that really hooked me in and left me wanting more. I can’t wait for the next one!
‘I lean forward. “Look, Sergeant, I know you’re short staffed,” I state. “A murder investigation takes a lot of resources. Vancouver Island isn’t exactly murder capital.”
“You’re overreaching – we don’t know what happened yet,” Sergeant Keller says, “We have to wait for the coroner’s report. But right now, it looks like an accident – or suicide.”
“It could be,” I concede. “It could also be cold-blooded murder. Come on, Sergeant. You know you can trust me to be discreet. Just let me ask around a little, see what I can uncover. It can’t hurt. I promise I won’t make you look bad.”
The Sergeant gives in. “Fine – go over there. Let me know what you find. They’re not big fans of the police at Lake Templeton anyway. Bit of a closed off community.”
“I like a challenge,” I say with a smile.– HS Burney, The Lake Templeton Murders
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HS Burney writes fast-moving, action-packed mysteries set against the backdrop of majestic mountains and crystalline ocean in West Coast Canada. She loves creating characters that keep you on your toes. A corporate executive by day and a novelist by night, HS Burney received her Bachelors’ in Creative Writing from Lafayette College. A proud Canadian immigrant, she takes her readers into worlds populated by diverse characters with unique cultural backgrounds. When not writing, she is out hiking, waiting for the next story idea to strike, and pull her into a new world.
The Lake Templeton Murders is available on Amazon right now.
Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below for details) for more great content and reviews.