Isabella Moon Author:Laura Benedict Two years ago, in idyllic Carystown, Kentucky, nine-year-old Isabella Moon disappeared on her way home from school. Is it just coincidence that Kate Russell, a young woman with no discernible past, arrived in town just months before Isabella's disappearance? When Kate walks into Sheriff Bill Delaney's office to tell him that Isabella's ghost has... more » led her to the child's hidden grave, he immediately views her as a suspect. Mystery follows mystery as a local athlete drops dead, inexplicably, on the basketball court, and someone close to Kate is viciously murdered.
Quiet Carystown was to be Kate's salvation, and she's settled into a comfortable job, a charming cottage, and a blissful romance. But having lied to her boyfriend, Caleb, for so long about the terrors of her past life, she finds she can't trust him to understand the terror that Isabella Moon has now brought. And Kate's best friend, Francie, is too wrapped up in her own troubles - particularly a secret affair with a man she at once loves and despises - to give Kate the help she needs. Utterly alone, Kate is torn between finding justice for the dead child and keeping away old ghosts of her own.
The unsolved disappearance of Isabella Moon has been the biggest disappointment of Sheriff Delaney's career. But he senses that Kate is trouble. As he investigates her impossible claims, he also uncovers a series of unsettling truths about Carystown itself. Behind his hometown's genteel fa?ade is a morass of lies and murder, drugs and destruction. And Carystown's residents are about to discover that even though the past is buried, it can rise again - with a vengeance.
Dark and suspenseful, tense and eerie, tingedwith the supernatural, Isabella Moon is an engrossing, beautifully written debut novel, a breathtaking and artful story of the dark mysteries that can lurk in the most bucolic of places - and the ghost of a little girl who watches as evil rises unstoppably to the surface.« less
Laura Benedict's debut novel is a combination mystery/thriller/romance. I love Southern fiction, but this one didn't quite do it for me. This is a character driven novel, many of them unlikeable. I didn't care for the ghost aspect of the story, and the novel ended quite abruptly. A mostly unsatisfying read, but I will watch for Ms. Benedict's next effort.
Kate Russell is a recent transplant to the small southern town of Carystown, Kentucky. Recently she has come to believe that she is being haunted by the ghost of Isabella Moon, a young girl who disappeared two years earlier. Convinced she knows where Isabelles body is Kate goes to the sheriff with her story. When Sheriff Delaney reluctantly follows up on the lead, he does find Isabellas body. But now Kate is one of the prime suspects I the case and she has many secrets of her own to conceal- including why she came to this town in the first place. When another murder takes place some dark secrets of the towns residents come bubbling to the top.
This book was a real page turner, and I really liked it, even if some of the plotting was familiar or obvious. The WTF? ending had me completely flabbergasted, and not in a good way. I just hated the conclusion and it took the overall rating of the book down a notch.
IMHO Ms. Benedict is a real close second to Mary Higgins Clark which I was surprised to find out during the reading of Isabella Moon. Couldn't put it down! Wish she'd do a sequel to it...I'm hungry for more! Her second book, Calling Mr. Lonely Heart is more a sci-fi which I didn't particularly care for, but it will be a delight to those who favor that genre.
I like thrillers, but this novel disappointed me. I didn't like any of the characters AT ALL. It's dark...too dark for my taste. I appreciate authors who delve into the darker sides of human nature, but this was just too much.