The bestselling storyteller Kate Morton, author of The House at Riverton, is at her finest with this mystery set in Cornwall in the 1930s.

Kate Morton burst onto the literary scene in 2007 with The House at Riverton, which rapidly became a bestseller across the globe. Her latest novel, The Lake House, is similar in both tone and style to her debut—featuring the sort of expansive, absorbing, heart-wrenching story that is swiftly becoming the trademark of this Australian author.

The Lake House opens with focus on the stern yet sympathetic character, Alice Edevane. A successful and elderly crime author, many of her books draw inspiration from her own real-life tragic history: her baby brother Theo went missing from his crib when Alice was just a teenager, and the mystery has remained unsolved for decades.
 

Kate Morton

Enter detective Sadie Sparrow. Wrestling with her own demons and on enforced professional leave, she comes across Theo’s case—and makes it her mission to uncover the truth.
 

"Morton’s writing style is typically unhurried, and the story’s many threads take almost 600 pages to come together, but at no point does it feel as if it’s dragging."
 

Split-time frame tales are a common framework for this decade’s popular fiction, and Morton pulls it off with real aplomb. In The Lake House, she jumps effortlessly from 1930s and present-day Cornwall and London, gradually pulling the strands of the story together in an almost painterly fashion.

Morton’s elements of mystery are always tightly-wound and expertly plotted—she remains one step ahead of the reader at all times, giving just enough to keep them guessing without ever revealing too much to lose the intrigue.

Any fan of Morton’s works (The Lake House is her fifth) will know that she gives her characters a rich emotional life. Love in its various forms is always a driving force of the narrative and as the reader, you’re given access to more than one character’s inner-most thoughts. Writing about characters’ affections is an effective way of winning those of the reader—a few chapters in and you’re captivated, empathetic and emotionally invested.

Morton’s writing style is typically unhurried, and the story’s many threads take almost 600 pages to come together, but at no point does it feel as if it’s dragging. The resolution is bold and bound to incite differing opinions: some will find it gratifying, others may question its tidiness.

The mark of a good book, however, is one that makes you forget yourself and your surroundings, and The Lake House achieves this without question. It will transport you to the Cornish countryside, dissolve your trials in the face of others’ and—most of all—make you remember why you love reading so much. It is Kate Morton at her finest.
 

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