For fans of Hannah Mary McKinnon and Kimberley Belle, this emotionally charged thriller explores long-buried family secrets and the deadly reckoning that often follows their explosive reveal.
For two decades, Lena Blackwell has kept her sons at her side, teaching them everything she knows about running their successful river lodge in Northern Maine. But what she really wants is to keep her boys in the dark about their tragic past.
Her son Luke is right where he belongs, working at the family inn sheltered by acres of pine forest that stretch along the Penobscot River. So when his adopted brother, Jonah, threatens to upend their peaceful life by searching for his biological parents, Luke refuses to help.
Lena is determined to thwart Jonah’s search to uncover his own history. But the unexpected arrival of old friends at the inn for a weekend off the grid throws her plans into disarray. Little does she know, Jonah has already gleaned enough information to set in motion a deadly reckoning.
Luke may not want to know anything about his family, but he’s caught between the hard truths his brother is determined to expose and the devastating secret his mother is desperate to keep—at any cost.
Dark Rivers to Cross sensitively explores inherited trauma and the stories we tell the ones we love. It’s about what one mother is willing to sacrifice for her children.
Escaping an abusive relationship is never easy! It was particularly difficult for Lena because her husband was a very well-respected surgeon. He seemed to have a split personality and in the quiet of their home, he abused her violently. Escape was the only way she could save her life and the lives of her unborn twins.
She escaped with a couple of suitcases into the upper concourse of the Penobscot River with her two new babies. She told everyone they were adopted and that their ages were different. A small hunting lodge with a few cabins was the childhood for her two boys. She called them Luke and Jonah and their male role model was a very understanding older man who sheltered the family.
Finally, her husband was required to take a psychiatric evaluation because of his erratic behavior. Subsequently, he was committed to a facility for his affliction. Underneath he hoped he could find her as hate and revenge became his primary motivators.
The boys grew up in a supportive and healthy environment. They were required to assist in the maintenance of the facility and also to make sure that the canoes and row boats were clean and serviceable for the guests of the lodge. Luke was content with the status quo but Jonah wondered who his birth parents really were.
Lena wanted both boys to go to college; Luke was interested but Jonah deferred to stay at the lodge and help with the day-to-day activities. The schism between the brothers leads to a number of adventures and ultimately their exposure when their father is still seeking revenge.
This is an entertaining tale of life in the mountains near the upper Penobscot River. The tension builds throughout the narrative and I was very involved in the overall tale and story. Enjoy the ride! 4 stars – CE Williams
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four Stars
Genre: DomesticThrillers, Small Town & Rural Fiction
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Print Length: 288 pages
Publication Date: November 8, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: Dark Rivers to Cross [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
The Author: LYNNE REEVES GRIFFIN is a novelist and a nationally-recognized expert on family life.
Writing as LYNNE REEVES, she’s the author of the domestic suspense novels, DARK RIVERS TO CROSS (Crooked Lane Books, November 8, 2022) and THE DANGERS OF AN ORDINARY NIGHT (Crooked Lane Books, 2021).
Writing as LYNNE GRIFFIN, she’s the author of the novels, GIRL SENT AWAY (SixOneSeven Books, 2015), SEA ESCAPE (Simon & Schuster, 2010) and LIFE WITHOUT SUMMER (St. Martin’s Press, 2009).
Lynne has written the nonfiction parenting guide NEGOTIATION GENERATION (Penguin, 2007). She teaches writing at Grub Street Writers. She has written short fiction, essays, and articles for Parenting Magazine, Writer Magazine, Psychology Today, Chautauqua Journal, Solstice Literary Magazine, Brain, Child, and more.
©2022 CE Williams – V Williams