Saturday, September 12, 2015

Book Review: Stranger on the Shore by Josh Lanyon

Stranger on the Shore
From the blurb:

Twenty years ago young Brian Arlington, heir to Arlington fortune, was kidnapped. Though the ransom was paid, the boy was never seen again and is presumed dead. Pierce Mather, the family lawyer, now administers and controls the Arlington billions. He's none too happy, and more than a little suspicious, when investigative journalist Griffin Hadley shows up to write about the decades-old mystery. Griff shrugs off the coldly handsome Pierce's objections, but it might not be so easy to shrug off the objections of someone willing to do anything to keep the past buried.

Rosa's rating:


I dunno, people, I dunno.

I could easily give this book 4 stars. I like the characters, the romance and parts of the mystery. Also, never doubt it--Lanyon knows how to tell a compelling tale. I pretty much read this book straight through, except for sleepy times, snacks and shower breaks (so annoying). It's enjoyable. Memorable even.

But I just can't get over the solution to the mystery of what happened to little Brian Arlington 20 years ago. It was completely obvious from about a third of the way through the book (probably even earlier, but I was in denial that it was that easy). So obvious I'm 98% sure Lanyon made it that way on purpose. So obvious I felt impatient with the rest of the book. I kept thinking that I would've enjoyed it more if the story had been told from Pierce's POV instead of Griff's, but no. Because even if it hadn't been obvious, the solution to that part of the mystery is still kinda ridiculous. Felt way too soap opera to me.

Highlight if you'd like to read this [minor-ish] spoiler:

What bothers me most about it is that what I love about mysteries is that they're generally told from the perspective of the "outsider." (Even the book Griff loves most and gets brought up constantly--The Great Gatsby--is told from the perspective of an outsider.) Griff seems to be an outsider, he may feel like an outsider, he may think he's an outsider, but he's not. So it's more like a fairy tale. That's sweet but if I wanted to read a fairy tale I would've gone for a romance-romance not a Josh Lanyon mystery-romance.

End of spoiler.

So, I dunno. Despite my disappointment, it's still a good read. If you like the Lanyon formula (which I do 96% of the time), you'll find something (or several somethings) to like in this book.

Buy the book:

Thanks for reading my review!

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