Cover detail of The Creek by L.J. Ross

The Creek by L.J. Ross

Good morning everyone, I hope you are well and that 2024 has started well for you. My Christmas decorations are now down, with the exception of a few fairy lights that did not make it into the Christmas box ahem, and which are now brightening up our life when it is dark outside. I'm currently looking at a candle housed in a structure that would rival the Eiffel Tower for dimension and we still have lots of Christmas eats going on including my daily porridge blessed with a piece of Terry's Chocolate Orange! (You can thank me later for this nugget, and I count the orange as one of my 5 a day!).

Read my review of Holy Island by L.J. Ross

Today's post, and indeed my first review of the year is actually a book I finished late last year. As you know, I have a habit of reviewing Christmas books in summer, so I thought I would return the favour and review a Summer book in Winter. Whilst I like to live seasonally, it sometimes is in the wrong season. On with the review!

The Plot

Kate Irving arrives at her grandfather's cottage at Frenchman's Creek in the dead of night with her young son, a small suitcase and little else. Its scattered community of fishermen, farmers, artists and jetsetters barely bat an eyelid, because theirs is a rarified world, tucked beneath the lush forest that lines the banks of the Helford Estuary, deep in the heart of Cornwall, where life is slow and people generally mind their own business. Unless of course, your grandfather happens to be a pillar of the local community....

Kate's left behind and guards her privacy and her son fiercely. She's wary of accepting the friendship her new neighbour's offer, but their kindness is too great to refuse and she begins to feel she has found her place in the world. That is, until tragedy strikes, and her new friends look to her for the answers....

Kate soon learns that the past always catches up with you in the end - the question is, will she be able to face it, when it does?

My Thoughts

This is the first book in L.J. Ross' Summer Suspense series, both are standalone novels so you are fine to read them out of order. Both have the theme of a thriller in summer set in beautiful Cornwall and are immensely readable.

Right away we are into the action, as the book opens with a very tense chapter about a flight away from an abusive marriage. What is made even more difficult is that the abuser is in the public eye, a handsome actor who portrays a seemingly perfect marriage with his wife Kate and son Jamie.

When Kate runs, she runs to where she knows best and feels safest, the place where she grew up and to her Grandfather. At first, you feel this will be a novel all about Kate's flight, will her husband find her, especially now he has employed the services of a Private Investigator?

But quickly the novel turns into something altogether different, a murder mystery. The local drunk, Bill, on his way to tell Kate something very important is discovered at the bottom of the cliff. The murder scene not consistent with a fall. But who would do this? And what was so important that Bill set out on a filthy night? Could it have something to do with the death of Kate's parents many years earlier?

There is wild scenery, a sense of peace in coming home and a gentle romance for a still-bruised Kate. In the background though there is still that abusive husband and you know what is coming, just not when, which is a clever technique to use as it reflects Kate's own sense of impending doom.

The book really packs it in. And it is a great summer read if you fancy switching off and enjoying a jolly good thriller. The pace thunders along, and we have a whole host of characters to meet. Interestingly I could imagine another book set in the same creek featuring one of the characters as I wanted to know what happened next for her.

In conclusion, very enjoyable, fast-paced thriller good for curling up with on a break.

Whatever you are up to this weekend, I hope you have a nice one. I will be putting together my To Be Read pile but this might take me a few months as it so big! I will also be finishing an exceptional read from the past and which I am very much looking forward to sharing with you.