Dark Rivers to Cross by Lynne Reeves is an emotionally thrilling dark mystery centred around a mother who will sacrifice everything to keep her children safe. At the heart of the story are lies and secrets from the past.
The storyline might trigger a few readers because of the graphic descriptions of trauma, abuse, and violence, so I would advise readers who are sensitive to these issues to proceed with caution. The author has clearly indicated this by sharing a content warning at the very beginning.
Lena Blackwell lives in Millinocket, Maine, running a successful river lodge along with a friend, Coop. Church’s Overlook, the family Inn sheltered by acres of pine forest stretches along the Penobscot River. Her two sons, Jonah and Luke, were both adopted when they were just a few years old. The boys know nothing about their birth parents as Lena hasn’t been forthcoming with details.
Their peaceful lives are in upheaval when Jonah expresses his desire to know more about his birth parents. To his indignation, Luke doesn’t want to know anything and refuses to be a part of his mission. But as Jonah proceeds with his investigation, secrets come tumbling from the closet, putting them all in the face of the very danger Lena had been trying to protect them from.
Even though the premise is not completely new, the story is quite exciting. The dual narrative and dual timelines make it an interesting read. Reeves has done a wonderful job of building intrigue and suspense while revealing the secrets from the past at a good pace. The sub-plots and unexpected twists are seamlessly integrated with the main storyline and have been resolved in a satisfying manner.
I really loved the natural surroundings where most of the story takes place. It would be really wonderful to settle down in one of those rustic cabins surrounded by the pine forest with a gurgling river flowing right beside and read this book once again!
While all the characters are well-developed, each with their respective battles and challenges, I really loved the way Luke’s character evolves during the story. Lena’s actions though leave one with questions, but I feel they are justified considering the trauma she has undergone, and her children’s safety.
Dark Rivers to Cross explores trauma and abuse in a sensitive and thrilling manner, while never moving away from Lena, the central character holding the plot together. Apart from inherent trauma and abuse, familial love, sibling bond, love, and friendship are the other theme threads weaving this story together.
Thanks to NetGalley, Lynne Reeves, and the publisher, Crooked Lane Books for an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Wordsopedia Rating 4.5/5
|Title: Dark Rivers to Cross||Author: Lynne Reeves|
|Publisher: Crooked Lane Books||Publication date: Nov 8th, 2022|
|Genre: Fiction–Mystery & Thrillers||Format: Kindle|
|ASIN: B09S3F5WS2||No. of Pages: 288|
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About the author
Lynne Reeves Griffin is an internationally recognized family counselor, public speaker, teacher and writer of fiction and non-fiction. Her work has appeared in Parents, Psychology Today, Solstice Literary Magazine, Chautauqua Journal, Craft Literary, Fiction Writers Review, Brain, Child and more.
Know more about the author on her website.