Dark Water by Linda Hall

A woman on her own with an eleven year old daughter hiding in a small city, Fog Point, hiding from a past that is about to catch up to her.

“A private investigator and whale-watching tour guide based out of an old, purple church, Jake Rikker is caught off guard by the request of his new client.  Up-and-coming jewelry designer Elise St. Dennis wants him to find something-not a valuable object, but the menacing ex-con who has traced her to the small town of Fog Point.

Elise is desperate and afraid to go to the police.  Sensing an attraction with the pretty, enigmatic designer, Jake throws himself into helping someone who clearly needs him.

Aided by May, a crusty widow and his business partner, Jake sets out in pursuit of the stalker.  But as they draw ever closer to their prey it becomes terrifyingly clear that they have become not the hunters but the hunted.”

Elise St. Dennis and her daughter Rachel came to Fog Point ten years ago on their own with almost nothing but now Elise is a thriving jewelry business owner and her daughter is a gifted student.  All is okay on the outside but behind close doors there is a problem.  Elise is a very emotional woman with a hidden past that is coming back now to haunt her as Wesley Stroller the ex-con is out of jail and he his coming for Elise and her daughter.  Elise gets the P.I.’s, Jake and May to help her.  She claims that she contacted him through the jail because she felt sorry for ex-cons and he started stalking her through the web.  Worried now that he is out Elise wants protection but when ever something happens there is almost to no proof only to Elise’s eyes.  Jake wants to believe her and tries to help but May is not so convinced for she starts her own investigation to find Elise St. Dennis has only been around for nine years.  So who is Elise and her daughter and what is really happening?

This book blew my mind with the twist and turns.  I was confused and intrigued by the suspense, mystery of the plot and characters.  Through the book there were many characters and back stories that were being told and that is where the plot got confusing but I kept turning each page trying my best to figure out what was going to happen.

The character of Jake and May together as P.I.’s I loved.  Jake was a great guy trying to get his life together which is why I did not want him to be with Elise.  Usually I like romance stories but this one didn’t sit right.  Elise was not right for him.  Too many secrets and she was too cold.  Now there was May who was an older woman but she still had fight in her.  I loved the fact that she really worked to uncover what was happening in Fog Point with Elise and she found it.

Wesley Stroller is an interesting character as the ex-con who found religion in prison.  All he wanted was to find Sarah, Fiona and his little girl.  But Elise was unconvinced and was sure that he was after since he was obsessed.  So what was Wesley really after?

The one character that I loved was Rachel St. Dennis, Elise’s eleven year old daughter.  Rachel was a very shy girl and very bright.  Her one passion was whales which was perfect in Fog Point since whales populated the area.  Aside from being bright and shy Rachel was a good daughter but felt out of place.  She didn’t understand her mother and her actions.  Rachel was able to spy on her mother and see all that she was doing.  The great part of this book was that Rachel wrote letters in her journal which gave the reader information about what her mother was doing.  Things you didn’t know.  They lead to theories in the book on who Elise was and what she was really doing.

The ending of the book was a different kind.  It was happy but not the happy cookie cutter type of ending.  It was sad for certain characters but had promise of a happy ending.

Linda Hall created a thriller with “Dark Water”.  It was an excellent suspense/mystery novel.  I was on the edge of my seat with each page.