Sunday, February 12, 2023

Shore Lodge

Shore Lodge by Susan Specht Oram
11/4/22; 296 pages
Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op

Shore Lodge by Susan Specht Oram is a highly recommended novel of psychological suspense.

Jacklyn Stone's husband Albert passed away and left her grieving and overwhelmed. She realizes that she isn't handling her daily life well and letting things slide at her business, but the grief is still so raw and she is struggling to find her way through this new reality. She also discovers after Albert's death that he gave away almost all of their savings to their son, Dusty, to help him in his construction firm. Dusty is the one nearby, where her daughter Rose is living in the city. She gives Dusty the power of attorney over her affairs due to his proximity.

Dusty talks to Rose and informs her that Jacklyn needs to take a break, a week or two away at a lodge that offers counseling and grief care. He sets everything up and talks Rose into it, for their mother's well being. Jacklyn agrees to two days away, believing that the rest and relaxation will be good for her. However, shore Lodge is not exactly what Dusty claimed it was. It is a psychiatric facility and Jacklyn soon discovers the truth. She can't leave or contact the outside world, her son has used his power of attorney to basically imprison her against her will. Soon she finds her focus and determination coming back as she tries to find a way out.

Jacklyn is a character worth caring about. Anyone who has ever lost someone they are close to will understand the brain fog she was going through. It will also be clear to most people that talking about it and grief therapy could help, but so does a familiar setting and routine. Dusty is a despicable character from the start. A self-centered narcissist whose only focus was himself and he shows his true character almost immediately. Rose is a more complicated character who soon realizes that Dusty does not have their mother's best interests in mind.

Shore Lodge is an intense, compelling thriller and will hold your attention from start to finish. The pace is fast and the pages will fly by as you discover along with Jacklyn what has happened to her and follow her plans to try and get out. At the same time you will see the extent of Dusty's plans and what Rose is doing. The final denouement provides a satisfying conclusion to the narrative. This is a four star for me because, even though she was grieving, I find it hard to believe Jacklyn would sign any documents giving Dusty the power of attorney over her life. She knew his character. She should have had him sign papers to pay back the money Albert gave him.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op.

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