First Line: "June. The first sign that things would not go as planned was the tableau that awaited me at the bottom of the open staircase: a pair of boxer briefs hanging from the newel post, as out of place as if they'd been dropped from the sky."
Summary: It has been nine months since Eden Wallace's husband died. While going through paperwork, she discovered that he had made reservations at the Straits Point International Dark Sky Park in Michigan for their anniversary. This was a surprise to her. It was also out of character for her husband to make plans so far in advance. She had hardly left the house since he died. Maybe it would be a good idea to keep the reservation.
When she arrives at the park, things are not quite as she expected. It turns out she must share the guest house with others. She decides to stay just one night and head home the following day. However, during that one night, someone is murdered. Now she must stay because she is a suspect.
My thoughts: This is the first book I have read by Lori Rader-Day and I don't think it will be the last one. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough!
I liked Eden right away. Even though she has been a loner since her husband died, she was very human and relatable. She is sensitive to the feelings of others and can put herself in their shoes. Since the death of her husband, she has been afraid to be in the dark. She is dealing with intense grief, but also guilt. She is so ashamed that her husband was driving drunk and caused an accident. I could feel what she was feeling.
The mystery was very good. The scenario Eden finds herself in is interesting and even without the murder contains lots of secrets and questions. Since there were lots of secrets, there were plenty of twists, turns and complications. The climax is quite suspenseful. There is a secondary mystery going on as well involving Eden's marriage. Why did her husband make these reservations? I appreciated that everything was brought to a conclusion. I also appreciated that the final chapter takes place many months later giving the reader a upbeat conclusion to a tense novel.
The novel deals with some heavy subjects, but it never felt too dark or heavy. This was a fast-paced, compelling read that will keep you reading way past your bedtime.