The Beach Trees: A Chilling Mystery in Disguise [SPOILERS]

BlogHer Review

 I was expecting something else when I dove into The Beach Trees by Karen White.  From the cover and the summary I expected a light summer read with a hint of mystery.  What I got instead was a book that had me anticipating and scrambling to make time so I could finish it.

This story sucked me in so hard that my husband was concerned for me.  I was reading a particularly dramatic part of the story and he stopped me to ask if I was okay.

The book was written with a split narrative -- Julie's story is set in present day and the mystery unfolds through Aimiee's story beginning with her childhood.  Aimee is her friend's grandmother, a vivacious character with a long history of loss.  Through her story and Julie's, family secrets come bubbling to the surface that are painfully shocking.  And just when I thought I had everything figured out, Aimee continues her story and turns everything upside down.

SPOILER ALERT

What disappointed me about the book was Julie's ending.  Julie doesn't find her sister.  She has a moment when she is called to her hometown to identify the remains of what might be her sister but it turns out to be the remains of another girl.

As for the entire book, Aimee's story was my favorite.  I plodded my way through Julie's chapters so I could get back to Aimee.  Not that Julie's story was uninteresting.  In fact, she had a lot to do with uncovering things in Aimee's past that helped put the pieces together, but I loved Aimee's voice.

If you're in the mood for a gripping mystery that you can't put down, pick up this one.  Someone will have to pry it from your hands once you start!

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