The Bay at Midnight by Diane Chamberlain

Renowned crime fiction writer Julie Bauer is working on her book when somebody at the door disturbs her concentration.

It turns out to be a ghost from the past. The young woman at the door, takes Julie back to 41 years ago, when her sister’s death had changed the world for Julie and her family. She was Ethan Chapman’s daughter. Ethan Chapman and her families were neighbours in their summer place. Every year Julie and Ethan’s families holidayed in their summer place, by a lovely bay. They grew up as friends, but that last summer when her sister died, everything changed. She has never heard from the Chapman family since.  Now, some new information has come up that could plunge her back into the nightmare that was when Isabel died. The new evidence suggested that the wrong person had been indicted for the murder. Julie and Ethan have to figure out what they want to do with this. Do they want to go back and set things right, or just let things be.

Does Julie have it in her to go through it all? And what else would digging in the past throw up? While she particularly wants justice for her sister, she also wonders about how it would impact her aging mother. There is so much at stake, but can she let her sister’s killer go unpunished?

Her sister’s murder is not the only worry on her plate. Her seventeen year old daughter is causing her worries too, in some ways, mirroring the way seventeen year old Isabel had been with her mother, just before disaster struck. Could history be repeating itself or was there something Julie could learn from history?

The book is a quick, fast paced read that keeps you hooked till the very end. There are so many surprises that are in store for Julie and us, the readers. Julie, her sister Lucy, Ethan are all believable characters, well fleshed out and real. The story keeps you gripped throughout. One of the things I particularly liked is the way the author has shown how the tragedy affected so many lives and how different people react to difficult situations. Julie was a spunky girl before the tragedy, but she turned into someone who did everything by the rules. She had lost too much to gamble on life any more. Lucy, her little sister on the other hand, was very, very scared, of everything until her sister’s death. Somehow, after her older sister’s death, she became fearless. As if the worst that could happen had happened, so she had nothing to fear any more. The story weaves between the past and the present, with each character’s point of view. The twist in the end, and some unexpected revelations do come us a surprise.  It could be classified as a romantic suspense, I suppose. The book had a blurb saying that if you like Jodi Picoult’s books, you will love it. But to be honest, I find Picoult’s work far more engaging and interesting.

I would give it a 3.5/5. It is a fast paced, quick read, perfect for a holiday, or a rainy day. I have enjoyed some of her other books far more.

About the Author

Award-winning author Diane Chamberlain, was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey, and attended Glassboro State University. She also lived for many years in both San Diego and northern Virginia, where she still resides. She is an author of 22 novels. She usually writes about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. More about the author here.

This book is available on Amazon(Paperback and Kindle) and Flipkart(in India).

9 thoughts on “The Bay at Midnight by Diane Chamberlain

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