Title: Journey to Death: A Lucy Hall Mystery
Author: Leigh Russell
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Pages: Paperback; 304
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy mysteries that are set in vividly drawn locales.
Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | BookLikes
Lucy Hall arrives in the Seychelles determined to leave her worries behind. The tropical paradise looks sun-soaked and picture-perfect—but as Lucy soon discovers, appearances can be very deceptive. A deadly secret lurks in the island’s history, buried deep but not forgotten. And it is about to come to light.
As black clouds begin to gather over what promised to be a relaxing family break, Lucy realises that her father stands in the eye of the coming storm. A shadow from his past is threatening to destroy all that he holds dear—including the lives of his loved ones.
A dark truth is about to explode into their lives, and that truth is going to hit them right between the eyes.
Where to begin? Leigh Russell isn't a new author to me, although this is the first book that I've read written by her. My mom has been a fan of Russell's "Geraldine Steel" series for a long time. So when this book came up for review, I wanted to give it a try. I'm not the biggest mystery buff, but I'm always willing to give the genre a try now and then.
Credit where credit is due, I think the biggest draw to this story was that the setting is absolutely lavish in the way that it's written. I've never been to the Seychelles, but Russell described the people, the food, and the atmosphere so vividly that I felt as if I'd known the place all my life. The fact that she included things as small as the look of a sunset over a landmark, or the occurrence of tropical rainstorms that were there and gone in a flash, made it a place I could easily get lost in. I honestly felt a bit jealous of Lucy. I'd love to experience that for myself.
The story itself, however, didn't hold that same sway over me. It took so long to get going in the beginning that, by the time things were in motion, I wasn't as invested as I had originally been. Lucy's story was simple enough. A woman who has been unlucky in love, and is eager to escape all her worries. I appreciated that Russell laid out Lucy's family history with the islands, before bringing her there as an adult. It was interesting to see how things tied back to the past. The pacing was really slow though. I was so eager for forward movement that I had to keep stopping myself from trying to skim read. I needed more action.
Add in the fact that the characters never really felt fully solid, and you'll see why I rated this three stars. It was an okay read, but it didn't catch up me as much as I wanted it to. I see a lot of potential in Leigh Russell's writing though. I think I'll pick up her Geraldine Steel detective series instead, since I have an affinity for the hard boiled detective types. Still, this is a fairly easy read and a good way to spend a few hours. Especially if you're a mystery lover.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.