Author: Nathan Lee Christensen
Blurb: (from Goodreads)
Cedardale Court is a neo-gothic murder mystery with enough fools and old flames to keep you happily mixed up for most of a long weekend. When Canner Connelly and his daughter, Chloe, move in with their Uncle Henry, and a simple drainage problem turns a normal Sunday morning into a slightly darker affair, it's not easy to tell where everyone might end up, or if they'll even make it at all.
About the book
Picture a small town, where everyone knows everyone. You know when your neighbor is having a fight with his wife, when the old lady living next door is cooking, when somebody new is into town or when your neighbor is physically abusing his wife. Every day is the same and news travel really fast. So when a body is found chopped into hundreds of pieces after an accident, everyone knows about it. The victim is a school teacher with a lot of secrets.
The characters in this book are amazing. You have the grumpy old guy in love with his neighbor, the nice old lady next door, the couple that fights every single day, the depressed guy who doesn't have the will to "not die". In the middle of this town full of colorful characters Canner Connelly and his daughter, Chloe, try to find peace, to escape from the suffering that has been haunting them for the past 10 years.
What I liked
I loved how the author managed to get inside every character's mind, the way Mr. Christensen leaves the reader to get to know all of them better. And I think he does it wonderfully. It didn't leave me with a sense of exhaustion or with the feeling that I didn't need to know a certain detail. And he did so, while keeping the mystery and the suspense up to date and it didn't feel like the action wasn't moving. You have many subplots that develop or are revealed while the main plot is moving forward. Even if at times a subplot forces you to turn back in time, you actually understand the reasons for that.
Every character has a voice and I think it's what gives this book a complex feeling.
What I didn't like
It's not exactly a thing that I didn't like, it's more of a question of how I viewed Chloe. She didn't seem like a ten year old girl to me. I felt her more like a twelve, even thirteen year old girl. And it's not because she's more mature than the other girls her age. Maybe it's because of her story and the story of her parents, that may have forced her to act like she's older.
I think this is a good book and for being a debut novel, I think it's even more amazing. I definitely enjoyed reading this book and I can't wait for the next book by Mr. Christensen.