Published by Ballantine Books on February 6th 2018
Haunted by dark secrets and an unsolved mystery, a young doctor returns to his isolated Adirondacks hometown in a tense, atmospheric novel in the vein of Michael Koryta and Harlan Coben.
Burying the past only gives it strength--and fury.
Nate McHale has assembled the kind of life most people would envy. After a tumultuous youth marked by his inexplicable survival of a devastating tragedy, Nate left his Adirondack hometown of Greystone Lake and never looked back. Fourteen years later, he's become a respected New York City surgeon, devoted husband, and loving father.
Then a body is discovered deep in the forests that surround Greystone Lake.
This disturbing news finally draws Nate home. While navigating a tense landscape of secrets and suspicion, resentments and guilt, Nate reconnects with estranged friends and old enemies, and encounters strangers who seem to know impossible things about him. Haunting every moment is the Lake's sinister history and the memory of wild, beautiful Lucy Bennett, with whom Nate is forever linked by shattering loss and youthful passion.
As a massive hurricane bears down on the Northeast, the air becomes electric, the clouds grow dark, and escalating acts of violence echo events from Nate's own past. Without a doubt, a reckoning is coming--one that will lay bare the lies that lifelong friends have told themselves and unleash a vengeance that may consume them all.
- Cover – It’s one of the most beautiful covers I’ve seen in a long time.
- Atmosphere – Greystone Lake is the perfect setting for this book. The atmosphere is picturesque and immediately ominous.
- Writing – I found Brendan Duffy’s writing style to be straightforward and easy to read. It was smart without being pretentious and very descriptive without being flowery.
- Pacing – For the most part, I thought the book was well-paced. It was not an edge-of-the-seat thriller but it was engaging. There were a few intense nail-biting moments toward the end.
- Plot – I love a story that takes the protagonist home to solve a mystery. I’m drawn to old cases in which a body suddenly shows up. I love books about characters forced to reconcile with their past. The Storm King was all of these.
- Characters – While most of the characters were well-developed, I didn’t find myself connecting to or, in truth, liking any of them.
- Implausibility – This was a huge obstacle for me. What we have here is another case of an author with a great imagination putting all the things into one book. I don’t want to post spoilers but there’s a part of the book that could’ve been turned into a great book in itself. As the book went on, events became more and more inconceivable.
I think The Storm King had great potential. Brendan Duffy is a talented writer and I would definitely read his next book. My overall experience with this book was significantly impacted by the issues I had with its implausibility. I would not discourage anyone else from reading it as plausibility is very subjective and reader-specific.
Many thanks to Ballantine Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.