When I first saw this cover and read the synopsis, I somehow got a slightly paranormal vibe from it and thought that maybe it was some kind of mystery that involved the supernatural or something suspected to be supernatural. And uhh....I was wrong. It's actually just a Mystery (not so much on the Thriller side) with humans and no supernatural beings involved.
Also, I found out, after finishing Lilac Lane, that this is part of a companion series of sorts, all set in the same town, Stutter Creek. If you look it up on Goodreads, it's not listed as a series at all, but rather, individual books. But the first book is Stutter Creek, then Lilac Lane, and then comes Copper Lake, which I believe is yet to be published.
To my knowledge, these books don't have to be read in order, nor do you have the read the first book in order to read the second. Each book follows a different set of characters, though I currently believe that characters from previous books will reappear in some small way in later books.
Publication Date: July 24, 2014 (Republication on February 24, 2015)
Ella Webb and her son have just escaped her abusive ex-husband. They moved to Stutter Creek and have their eyes turned toward a bright, happy future. Ella has even met a man there, wildlife biologist, Chet. But then the noises start. Sounds that keep returning every night, without any explanation. Could it be that her recently released ex-husband is back? Will Ella and her son survive another round with a drunken madman?
From the moment I saw this cover on NetGalley and read the synopsis, I had a feeling that I would greatly enjoy this book. And that I did. It had enough mystery around it to keep me interested and hooked, but it was still quite different from other Mystery & Thriller books that I've read. In comparison to the last few Mystery & Thriller books that I've read and reviewed here, Lilac Lane is much more toned down, and draws the similarity to Never Smile At Strangers, in that it is set in a quaint town.
But that didn't stop the author from bringing about a great mystery, with a likeable focus on family. Yes, there was foreshadowing that allowed the reader to know what Ella didn't, but I think that it was good in this case, because we'll be trying to figure out a slightly different mystery, while Ella is trying to finally live a normal life and understand the noises she heard at night.
I don't think this book is action packed, filled with death and murder, or even contains any major plot twists, but it's still a very enjoyable mystery to be reading. It's a great mystery for teenagers who are transitioning from YA to adult, but it is also good for any adults who want to give Mystery & Thriller books a shot.
And as I always seem to bring this up with every Mystery & Thriller book that I read and review here, I'm actually very pleased to announce that there is no swearing in this book (but for a couple of times near the end) and it isn't ridden with sex or anything of the like. Everything is kept quite clean and it goes to show that good mysteries, good books even, can be written without being foul-mouthed or sex-ridden.
I really liked Ella. A lot. She was a different kind of protagonist, being that she is now a single mother. Though I can't say that I relate to it (I'm 17 and single as heck), I did find it quite easy to sympathize for her situation and understand why she made her choices. She was a stronger character and I loved that she was willing to do so much to keep her son safe.
Nick, Ella's son, was equally likeable. A 10 year-old boy who only wants to live a happy life with his mother, he was such a darling to read about. Nothing like what you would expect of a 10 year-old. His maturity and responsibility showed years beyond his age, all while he still managed to be the 10 year-old boy that he is.
Chet. Well, I'll leave you to see how Chet is, but I really enjoyed having him around
4.5 stars and highly recommended! I'm exicted to see what the next book, Copper Lake, will be like and I can't wait to go on another adventure in Stutter Creek!
Thank you to NetGalley for hosting this, and also thank you to 5 Prince Publishing for approving my request to read this and for putting this up on NetGalley.