Monday 11 October 2021

The Lake - Louise Sharland

The truth lies just beneath the surface…

Kate's world falls apart when her teenage son drowns in the waters by his school. She’s convinced it wasn’t just a tragic accident, but no one will listen.

Then, six years later, Kate unearths Michael’s lost diary and realises she may finally be able uncover what really happened that night.

But as she delves deeper, she begins to realise that she didn’t really know her son – or the people in his life – at all. And that, sometimes, secrets are better left submerged…

What did I think?

When it comes to books filled with secrets and lies, I'm like a moth to a flame so the cover and the blurb of The Lake immediately piqued my interest.  It's so incredibly well written and addictive that I read it over a 24 hour period but it's not quite as chock full of secrets and lies as I'd expected; there's really just one big secret and its revelation didn't really come as a surprise.

It seems like the main character of Kate has been manipulated all of her life; first by her mother and the Brethren community and then by her controlling husband Adam.  Oh I really didn't like him!  Kate's grief over the loss of her son is so heartbreaking to read and she has to deal with it on her own as Adam thinks Kate should just put it behind her and move on.  I wonder if he'd have felt the same if Michael had been his son.  When Kate finds Michael's old diary, it's like she can still hold a piece of him in her hands but rather than providing comfort it gives her more questions than answers.

Collecting pieces of the puzzle, Kate is determined to find out what happened to Michael and when it comes to her cubs, the lioness has sharp teeth and claws.  I have mixed feelings about Kate; obviously I felt for her as she has lost her son but I just wish that she had stood up for Michael when he was alive.  Not that she could have prevented his death, but the pair of them could have had a very different life if circumstances had been different.  My mixed feelings for Kate also gave me mixed emotions about the ending, which I won't spoil for others, but it did make me feel confused as to what kind of person Kate actually is.

Engaging and addictive, The Lake is a well written debut from Louise Sharland.  It's more of a slow-burning drama than a fast-paced thriller but it's still very difficult to put down once you pick it up.

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