The Drowning River
Five Star, Jun 2009, $25.95
Elise Moloney attends graduate school as an English major at Whitman on the Cape on a full scholarship. A student in her first class stares at her and afterward introduces himself as Parker Reilly before blurting out he thought she was dead. Later he shows her a picture from last year’s undergraduate yearbook of a deceased student Hannah McPhee who looks like Elise’s twin. She learns Hannah died when she fell off a bridge while drunk into the Drowning River
Accompanied by her sex is everything roommate Kat Herrerra, Elise returns home to nearby Hingham to ask her parents if she had a sister that they failed to adopt like they did her. They are stunned saying no, but her mom says if they knew they would have wanted both siblings. Elise investigates what happened to her sibling as Parker’s roomie Robbie DeLuca insists Heather was pushed. Meanwhile her attraction to Parker grows even as she knows she owes her former fiancé Nick Carrano more than just the letter she sent him ending their relationship. As she digs deeper, someone warns Elise that if she does not back off her parents will die. Being a coward, she wants to quit but even the cowardly lion finds courage to continue the trek.
Although a bit slow at first, this is a fun amateur sleuth cozy starring a likeable heroine who is in shell shock for most of the tale as she leaves her comfort zone to investigate her dead twin, her biological background, and love. While the cast is solid, Elise is fabulous as she accepts she is a coward yet does what she feels she must do. She reacts perfectly to revelations about a previously unknown twin and her avariceious biological mom. Although the killer will be quite a shocker, the culprit makes sense providing complete closure to the story line. Fans will enjoy this entertaining Massachusetts cozy.