I edited the novel, but my review has nothing to do with my professional work as a book editor. My review considers what makes a novel interesting and intriguing, and well, thrilling, if that’s the genre, which On Lucky Shores is. Kerry knows how to deliver on all levels. The book opens with the rugged and handsome drifter colliding into a mountain town and rolling into the lives of its inhabitants. But first there’s an accident, a secret, and an untimely death.
That’s just the first chapter. Chet Walker eventually makes it into the town of Lucky Shores intent on finding a place to play his music, delivering a message loaded with mystery from a dying man, and staying out of trouble. But trouble rides on the case of his guitar from the site of the accident he witnessed to the hospital where he fends quite nicely for himself against the local ruffians. But he has yet to encounter the sheriff, the doctor, the mayor, or the lovely woman running the local cafe.
It’s that woman at the cafe to whom he must deliver his message–a message that will spin the town all around, causing its residents to race up the mountains surrounding it. Josephine is adorable, and Chet finds himself drawn to her.
But for me, the best thing about the novel was my reactions and thoughts as I read it through the first time. I couldn’t figure out who done did it. I’d think I knew who the villain was, and then I didn’t. Not until the very end, near the climax, did I know for sure. And that’s the mark of a true author of a thrilling mystery. I’m not a fan of always knowing exactly who did what to whom. I like the tension created from not knowing, when every scene could be loaded with real clues or clues meant to confuse the reader who is suddenly headed down the wrong road out of town.
The book also contains a romantic thread in the growing attraction between Josephine and Chet. So even though there’s mystery, intrigue, and thrilling parts, I also enjoyed the the sweet and tender love that grows. Perhaps the genre is best described as romantic suspense.
Perfect combination. I recommend you give it a try yourself. You won’t be disappointed. And I must say for an English bloke living in France, Kerry Donovan did an excellent job of adapting to the Rocky Mountain setting and making it believable. [Go Broncos!]
About Kerry: Kerry J Donovan was born in Dublin. He spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in Brittany with his wife of thirty-eight years. He has three children and three/four grandchildren, all of whom live in England. Family apart, Kerry has three loves: making furniture, sport, and writing (but not necessarily in that order).