Title: The Stone Arch Secret by KD Dowdall
Genre: Mystery/ Thriller/ Romance
Publication Date:January 2018
Twenty-eight-year-old cultural anthropologist, Lilly Allaire, receives a phone call telling her that Dax is dead. The cause of death is unknown.
At the age of fourteen, best friends, Lilly and Dax, experience a traumatic incident. After the incident, Dax is institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital with total memory loss. For Dax, his memory loss is an act of self-preservation. Lilly still suffers a blocked memory of that day and has frequent nightmares.
Lilly decides to go back to Salmon Brook, her home town, to find out the truth about the mysterious incident that left Dax in a catatonic state. Lilly has a chance meeting with a former high school classmate, Noah Hawthorne.
Noah remembers Lilly as his high school secret crush and offers to help her. Together, they try to unravel the mysterious incident that plagues Lilly’s dreams and turns them into nightmares.
However, Noah has a secret of his own, a dangerous secret, that will put Lilly in harm’s way.
Lilly Allaire returns to her home town after her best friend Dax dies. He’d been confined to a mental health hospital unable to speak as he and Lilly witnessed something terrible as teenagers but Lilly has no memory of this events.
After his death he leaves her a note, forcing her to confront her worst fears and revisit to Salmon Brook forest. On returning Lily meets former classmate Noah Hawthorne who offers to help her.
The story started off with plenty of mystery and intrigue, what had Lilly and Dax seen all those years ago and what was in Dax’s note? Unfortunately the villain (I won’t tell you who but they made my skin crawl) was revealed a little too early for my liking and the romantic elements of the story took over.
I liked the character of Noah, he’d gone from being an awkward skinny kid to a bit of a dish, and a sweetheart to boot. At times I got a little frustrated with Lilly though, she’s meant to be a smart anthropologist but she makes some dumb decisions!
There unfortunately was a few issues with the story. The dialogue seemed a little too formal and unnatural. There was a lot of repetition of the same phrases, Indian summer is the one that springs to mind. The timeline was also a little wonky in places and the story a bit rushed especially near the end.
About the Author
K. D. Dowdall, PhD, MSN, RN was born in New England and spent her elementary-grade school years in Granby, Connecticut. She graduated from FAU with a master’s degree in Clinical Research Nursing and has a PhD in clinical nutrition. K. D. is also a lover of ballet, jazz, ballroom dance, contemporary dance, and has had her own dance studio. She has written songs, poetry, short stories, and now several fiction novels; a children’s fantasy adventure story, a historical mystery/murder with a dash romance and a third fiction novel almost complete; a mystery thriller with romance. All are standalone novels. Her next book is a series.
Along the way, it was her good fortune to live in the Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, and England. Each culture she experienced reinforced her belief that all cultures are rich in storytelling to explain their human hopes, dreams, struggles, and life experiences, often in magical fantasy presentations. K. D. still dances, loves swimming, scuba diving, and theatre.
Giveaway: 2 Print Copies of The Stone Arch Secret
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