Inhabitants of a Maine island act as a backdrop to this tortured detective’s journey through PTSD, in this mysterious thriller.
A Category 4 hurricane is just hours away from the coast of Maine, and Brie Beaumont is fulfilling her duties as second mate aboard the Maine Wind to help weather the storm. It is then that she sees the body of a woman floating in the water, a body that stirs up a web of secrets and a cold case from the late 1950s. Apparition Island, the gripping fourth book of Jenifer LeClair’s Windjammer Mystery Series, is a tale of how the secrets of the past can haunt families for generations, with devastating effects.
Brie Beaumont is on leave from her job as a homicide detective with the Minneapolis Police Department. Using her previous skills as a Great Lakes sailor, she is taking advantage of a change of scenery and healing from a recent tragedy that left her with the lingering effects of PTSD. After encountering the body, she is called to dust off her badge and find out who the woman was and how she ended up in the Atlantic Ocean. Brie soon learns that the islanders prefer to keep to themselves, and the lies they tell to protect themselves cause her to consider everyone a suspect.
LeClair skillfully brings the setting into the mind’s eye with wonderfully descriptive detail: “The sky had turned a freshly minted shade of blue, as if the hurricane had wrung any murkiness out of it.” The characters come alive with shifting eyes, mean set jaws, and faces drained of color. The development of the characters adds a greater depth as Brie grapples with her own situation while encountering the frustrating motives and behaviors of those she interviews.
With a bit of thrill and foreshadowing, Apparition Island has just enough twists and turns to keep the pages turning without becoming overly complicated. While the true motive of the killer is somewhat weak and speculative, the story is nonetheless engaging and captivating.
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