Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.
This is a good old-fashioned yarn about murder, power, romance and not a conscience in sight. The story revolves around Madeline and Daphne, closer than friends, secret sisters. They live on Cooper Island where Edith Chase, Madeline’s grandmother, owns the Aurora Point Hotel. A wedding is in progress and the girls, around 11 and 12 years old, are left to their own devices when a dark character sees them and decides to take one of them for his pleasure. If he can’t control her, he will kill her, afterwards.
Madeline goes to the kitchen for water and the opportunity is presented to him, he grabs her and takes her out to the old maintenance shed in the back but Daphne witnesses this and alerts Madeline’s grandmother, her own mother and Tom Lomax and they dispatch him forthwith. They bury him in the back woods and Tom later puts a slab and a nice gazebo over it.
Edith closes the hotel and takes Madeline away from the island, Daphne and her mother go elsewhere while Tom Lomax stays on the island as the caretaker. The man they murdered, who had registered at the hotel under the name Porter, left a briefcase behind that he had hidden away and Edith informs them that they can use it as insurance but against what, or whom, is never fully revealed.
18 years later, Edith dies in a mysterious fire and Madeline inherits all the inns that belonged to her. She also inherits a security firm run by a man called Jack Raynor and tries to fire him but he has a contract with her Sanctuary Creek Inns so she is stuck with him. A message arrives from Tom Lomax, he needs to talk to her about the briefcase Edith discovered all those years ago so she and Jack head off to Cooper Island and the stage is set for the rest of the book.
She is reunited with her friend Daphne and along with Jack Raynor, more people die and together they come face to face with the Websters, a very powerful local family who will stop at nothing to get their son into the Senate and eventually, the White House.
So there you have a good book in front of the fire. It is a pleasant read that will keep you happy without having to think too hard. It is a bit of fun.
Available in bookstores December 8th