Colleen Coble's Sunset Cove novel, The Inn at Ocean's Edge is a fascinating, complex mystery-suspense. When Claire Dellamare surprises her family by showing up at their fancy hotel on the coast of Maine, something about the place sparks a panic attack, though she's sure she's never been there. She soon meets Luke Rocco, a man who recognizes her as the little girl who went missing the same time his mother disappeared twenty-five years ago. Claire has no memory of her year-long disappearance, which her parents had kept hidden from her. When she witnesses a murder on the way back to the hotel, few people except Luke believe her, as all signs of the scuffle and body are wiped away. Does the murder have anything to do with Claire's mysterious past? And can they find the killer before he kills her?
There is definitely a conspiracy going on here, but who is behind it and who all is involved - that's the question. We know that Claire, Luke, and Kate can't be behind it, as they were small children when the horrific events occurred, but they certainly are connected . . . As the story progresses, the author confirms suspicions that everything must be related, but she never lets too much slip - she lets out just enough to tantalize the reader, steadily reeling 'em in like a fish on a hook. It's nearly impossible to put the book down.
This story is an example, kind of like the last three chapters of Judges, of what happens when people do what is right in their own eyes and not what is right in the eyes of the law or God. One person makes a poor choice here, which leads to another person choosing poorly here, and then that person makes a bad choice there - soon chaos reigns and there is no good way to correct the wrong that was done. However the truth is revealed, people will be hurt and the consequences will be far-reaching. While it makes for a fascinating story, it is a scary example of what Godless choices can do.
The romance and spiritual growth aspects are not as strong as in other books I've read, but it certainly is a gripping story, and I loved the complexity of this novel. A well-written mystery/suspense, The Inn at Ocean's Edge will capture your attention to the very end.
Thank you Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing an e-copy for review. I was not required to make the review positive, and all opinions are my own.
1. The Inn at Ocean's Edge
2. Mermaid Moon
3. Twilight at Blueberry Barrens