#Bookreview – Unseen Motives (Book 1 in the Driscoll Lake series) by Joan Hall

Book reviews

What Amazon says

Things aren’t always as they seem…

Stephanie Harris is no stranger to mystery and suspense. The author of several best-selling thrillers returns to her hometown of Driscoll Lake twenty years after her father’s suicide when her great-aunt Helen dies.

She hopes to settle Helen’s affairs as quickly as possible and leave behind the place where she suffered so much heartache. Soon after her arrival, Stephanie stumbles upon information that leads her to believe that all is not as it seems.

When she digs deeper into secrets long buried, she begins to receive warning notes and mysterious phone calls. The threats soon escalate into deliberate attempts to harm her. Stephanie soon finds herself caught in a web of deceit and danger.

Undaunted, Stephanie searches for clues about the scandal surrounding her father’s death. But discovering the truth places her in the path of a cold-blooded killer.

My review

Unseen Motives is the first book in the Driscoll Lake series. Stephanie Harris, a successful author, has never returned to her home town which she and her mother fled from when she was just fourteen years old. At that time, the residents of the town turned against them following the deaths of Stephanie’s father, Robert, and the wife of his employer, Madelyn Denton. A suicide note is discovered but it makes no mention of Madelyn. Despite this and a few other misfit facts, such as the strange disappearance of Phillip Denton, Madelyn’s second husband, a short while before this incident, the case is determined by the investigating chief of police to be a murder/suicide. There is even speculation that Robert may have been having an affair with Madelyn.

Stephanie has not returned to Driscoll Lake for twenty years following the death of her father. She is bitter about the blame laid at the feet of her and her mother due to her father’s believed actions and she doesn’t want to face the residents of the town. The death of her aunt, of whom is is very fond and who has no other surviving relatives, results in her making a decision to return, largely at the request of her aunt.

Stephanie’s walks into a maelstrom of mixed emotions and events when she arrives back at Driscoll Lake. She receives threatening notes, delivered to her aunt’s home where she is staying, reads a recent newspaper article by the local reporter and son of a prominent local businessman, which questions her father’s guilt and meets up again with the town’s malicious gossip who is still aggrieved by these events of twenty years ago. Stephanie also discovers that her aunt had reason to believe, before she died, that her dead daughter’s diaries contained clues as to the identity of the real murderers of Robert and Madelyn that fateful night.

This is an intriguing book, with an exciting murder mystery plot and some interesting insights into the lives and psyche of people living in a small town, especially when they have suffered financially from the actions of a specific individual. Was Robert Harris really guilty of murder all those years ago and would he have committed suicide? You will have to read the book to find out.

Purchase: Unseen Motives by Joan Hall

47 thoughts on “#Bookreview – Unseen Motives (Book 1 in the Driscoll Lake series) by Joan Hall

  1. Returning to a place you have not seen over years must always be interesting. A very interesting plot, and a great review, which describes very well what can still be expected to be monstrous. Thank you Robbie! Best wishes, Michael

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  2. Insightful review, Robbie. I enjoyed this book too, and the succeeding ones in the series just get better and better. I love mysteries set in small towns–especially when populated with intriguing characters. Congratulations to Joan!

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    1. Thank you, Mae. I am also enjoying this series and will read book 2 soon. I like reading about small towns in America, so interesting and they provide so much insight into the lives of people in your country. Like most non-US people, I find America and Americans and the lifestyles very interesting.

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      1. You have a point. I spend a lot of time on the web – some out of necessity and some just surfing around. There’s a lot of competition to find audiences today. I do appreciate your thoughts.

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