Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Review: The Burning Island by Hester Young

Title: The Burning Island
Author: Hester Young
Series: Charlie Cates, #3
Published: February 2019, G.P. Putnam's Sons
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Source: Publisher

The newest haunting mystery from the beloved author of The Gates of Evangeline, featuring Charlie Cates, a headstrong heroine who must confront her unwanted supernatural gift and bring dark secrets to light if she ever wants to leave the Big Island . . .
Journalist Charlie Cates has always believed in facts, in what can be proved--her career depends on it. Which is why she has never truly accepted the supernatural visions that guide her to children in danger. After her work on a high-profile missing-child case brings unwanted fame, she reluctantly flees to the lush Big Island of Hawaii with her best friend, Rae. Determined to avoid her disturbing visions, Charlie begins writing what seems to be a harmless interview of a prominent volcanologist, Victor Nakagawa. But her hopes for a peaceful vacation are soon dashed by haunting dreams of a local girl who went missing six weeks earlier.

In the small and sleepy town of Kalo Valley, Charlie and Rae come to realize that even paradise has its ugly secrets, and the Nakagawa family is no exception. In order to find the missing teenager and stop a dangerous predator from striking again, Charlie is forced to embrace the gift she has always tried to conceal. Meanwhile, someone is watching her every move, and the closer Charlie gets to the truth, the more distant her chances of ever leaving the island alive.

With a deliciously eerie and fast-paced story told in vivid prose, all with an overlay of supernatural suspense, The Burning Island is a pulse-pounding mystery perfect for fans of Jennifer McMahon and Kate Atkinson.

My thoughts: This is the third, and final, book in Hester Young's Charlie Cates trilogy and I was both excited and sad to read to read. I was excited to see what came next for our beloved Charlie - what case would she find herself involved in; yet I was sad because I do not want to see this series come to an end...I have loved each and every book so much - they have all been so thrilling yet haunting, different yet captivating, and this latest one is no exception.

Although this book can be read as a stand-alone, I highly, highly suggest reading this trilogy in order...it just helps set the scene on the characters and the situation surrounding Charlie to put everything into context. But, rest assured if you decide not too, you are given just enough backstory so that you aren't completely lost. 

I flew through this book. It is both engaging and lyrical, while also totally underlined with that sense of dread that you just cannot walk away from. I have been a fan of Charlie Cates since the first book, The Gates of Evangeline, and have only come to love her character more and more. I am not a huge fan of the supernatural, but I love the way Hester Young uses it in this trilogy - the dreams/visions that Charlies gets are used sparingly and add just the right amount of tension and suspense to the story.

This is such a fast-paced book and is filled with so many twists and turns it will keep you on your toes. This is definitely not one of those straight-forward simply mysteries - it is an intricately woven, complicated, twisted plot. Things are definitely not what they seem. Every time I thought I had things figured out, or had some inkling of what was going on, I was proved wrong...in the end, I didn't have a clue where this case was headed. I love when I am kept guessing and don't even get close to what is really the truth of the matter. 

I'm really sad to see the end come to this trilogy and while I do hope that we haven't seen the last of Charlie Cates I feel this story wrapped things up as if we have. I do know that I will certainly be keeping an eye out for what comes next from Hester Young. She is a talented author for sure and I will absolutely be reading anything she writes!!! In the meantime, I highly recommend this series...if you like a really good mystery with a stand-out heroine, this is the series to read!

Books in this trilogy:

  1. The Gates of Evangeline
  2. The Shimmering Road 
  3. The Burning Island


1 comment

  1. How have I missed this series until the very end? It sounds like something I'd enjoy. Love supernatural stories like this -- not really with vampires and such, but with psychics and ghosts.


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