Wednesday, January 16, 2019

ARC Review: The Burning Island by Hester Young

The Burning Island
Author: Hester Young
Publication: G.P. Putnam's Sons (January 22, 2019)

Description: The newest haunting mystery from the beloved author of The Gates of Evangeline, featuring Charlie Cates, a headstrong heroine who must confront her unwanted supernatural gift and bring dark secrets to light if she ever wants to leave the Big Island . . .

Journalist Charlie Cates has always believed in facts, in what can be proved--her career depends on it. Which is why she has never truly accepted the supernatural visions that guide her to children in danger. After her work on a high-profile missing-child case brings unwanted fame, she reluctantly flees to the lush Big Island of Hawaii with her best friend, Rae. Determined to avoid her disturbing visions, Charlie begins writing what seems to be a harmless interview of a prominent volcanologist, Victor Nakagawa. But her hopes for a peaceful vacation are soon dashed by haunting dreams of a local girl who went missing six weeks earlier.

In the small and sleepy town of Kalo Valley, Charlie and Rae come to realize that even paradise has its ugly secrets, and the Nakagawa family is no exception. In order to find the missing teenager and stop a dangerous predator from striking again, Charlie is forced to embrace the gift she has always tried to conceal. Meanwhile, someone is watching her every move, and the closer Charlie gets to the truth, the more distant her chances of ever leaving the island alive.

My Thoughts: Charlie Cates is a reporter who works for a fitness magazine. She is also hiding a secret. Occasionally she will have vivid dreams about children in danger. After her recent episode which leads to finding a lost child in a nearby desert park, she is outed and becomes famous. She never wanted that.

In order to get away from the reporters haunting her yard and the never-ending phone calls, Charlie and her best friend Rae decide to leave the fiance and kids behind and take one of their annual girls' getaway trips. This time her editor sets her up to interview Victor Nakagaw, a volcanologist and triathlon competitor in Hawaii, Charlie hopes that will get her far enough away for the reporters to forget about her.

Unfortunately, her editor likes the notoriety and manages to set her up to interview a man with a missing sixteen-year-old daughter. Charlie, however, is determined to not get involved in any more investigations. But a boring man and family secrets get her curious about what happened to Lise.

Their B&B is also next door to another spot worthy of investigation. It is the site of a former religious commune and now inhabited by a strange woman named Naomi Yoon and her three sons. Rumor has it that Victor might be a little too close to the woman and that the youngest son is his. Lise had been dating the middle son but broke up with him right before she disappeared.

The more Charlie investigates the more twisted the story becomes. Victor is strangely unconcerned about his missing daughter; Victor's wife, in a wheelchair after an accident eight years earlier, asks Charlie to find out what happened to her daughter; and Lise's identical twin Jocelyn is also acting suspiciously.

Charlie's investigations take her from the edge of a volcano to a green sand beach as she talks to Jocelyn's boyfriend Kai and his druggie friends and a psychic who was going to open a restaurant with Lise. She also gets to know more about what is going on at the former commune next door as she meets the youngest child and tracks strange lights in the woods there. Danger gets close when she feels she is being watched and someone steals her cellphone and posts pictures on her Instagram account.

This was a fast-paced story with lots of twists and turns. The characters were well-drawn and interesting. It is also the third book in the Charlie Cates series.

Favorite Quote:
"There is not closure, no tidy endings. There's what you have and what you wish you had and how you live with the distance between the two."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. New to me author and book. Not a genre I usually am comfortable with, but I enjoyed your review.


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