Stranger on the Shore




Title : Stranger on the Shore

Author : Josh Lanyon


Publisher : Carina Press (BUY HERE)

Genre : Contemporary, Mystery

Length : 226 pages (e-book)

Published : May 5, 2014

Rating : ★


B L U R B :

Twenty years ago young Brian Arlington, heir to Arlington fortune, was kidnapped. Though the ransom was paid, the boy was never seen again and is presumed dead. Pierce Mather, the family lawyer, now administers and controls the Arlington billions. He’s none too happy, and more than a little suspicious, when investigative journalist Griffin Hadley shows up to write about the decades-old mystery. Griff shrugs off the coldly handsome Pierce’s objections, but it might not be so easy to shrug off the objections of someone willing to do anything to keep the past buried.

R E V I E W :

When Jarrett Arlington, the nearly ninety year old patriarch of the Arlington family, invites Griffin Hadley to stay at the Arlington estate of Winden House, the crime beat reporter willingly travels the fifteen hours from Janesville to Long Island for the chance to research the famous twenty year old mystery of four year old Brian Arlington’s kidnapping and subsequence disappearance for his yet to be written book about the case. After all, the gig was kind of a big deal! No-one previously had been given permission for such a book. In fact, everyone to date had been threatened with legal proceedings if they even attempted it. Although Jarrett Arlington may have given Griff his blessing, it seems his is the only one that Griff has garnered and the rest of the family and their lawyer are more than happy to make him very aware of that.

The world the extremely rich Arlingtons live in is a far cry from Griff’s, yet he ends up quickly developing an easy rapport with the likeable grandfather of Brian. The same can’t be said when it comes to the family’s ruthless lawyer, Pierce Mather. As Griff gets drawn into the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Brian, he also finds himself drawn to the surprisingly charismatic man. Sure, he was a bit of a jerk at first, but as events throw them together, Griff discovers that there’s a lot more to Pierce than just his good looks and cynical attitude. In fact, it becomes obvious that Pierce is fiercely loyal to the family, which treats him as one of their own.

Stranger On The Shore is first and foremost a mystery, and a very good one at that. With a tight, cohesive plot and just enough clues to formulate theories on but not obvious enough to become annoyingly easy to solve straight away, I really enjoyed the way this story was put together. One of the aspects to the mystery I did cotton on to earlier in the book, but it’s slow reveal throughout was necessary to enable other puzzle pieces to click together believably for the reveal at the end, and there were still plenty of twists I didn’t guess. The interest-grabbing story combined with fascinating characters made this book very difficult to put down, especially so once the premise of the story is established. Griff was an easy MC to like, smart; determined, sometimes prickly and eminently believable, I really enjoyed experiencing the story through his POV.

I loved Griff and Pierce’s evolving romance. As this was predominately a mystery, the romance was well balanced as a story element without competing or taking over from the mystery. The chemistry between Griff and Pierce built slowly, and not always smoothly, lending a realism to the romance, especially given their abrasive start. Just like he did for Griff, Pierce grew on me, although, also like Griff, I didn’t ever truly dislike him. I found him intriguing despite his initial apparent arrogance. From the entitled and somewhat abrasive Chloe (the cousin of Brian who nonetheless had some quality that made it difficult not to like her), the rude and snobbish Muriel (daughter of Jarrett), the amusing and friendly Diana (Pierce’s sister and my favourite of the minor characters), to the family patriarch himself, all of the characters are evocatively written with distinct personalities.

The writing is beautiful with a surreal, almost dreamy feel to it, which perfectly matches the story. Every word has a purpose, whether it be to paint a vivid picture of the location, to create an atmospheric sense of anticipation or to portray wonderfully realised characters and convincing dialogue. All in all, a clever and thoroughly enjoyable mystery.

kapowRated 5 stars by BookSmitten

LYLBTB 50 star