Sunday, June 17, 2018

Bookish Thoughts: The Storm King by Brendan Duffy

For Nate, Saturdays in the spring mean baseball. ~ Opening of The Storm King 


The Storm King by Brendan Duffy
Ballantine Books, 2018
Crime Fiction/Thriller; 391 pgs
Source: NetGalley

Nate McHale returns home to Greystone Lake after years of being away. He has long put the lake town behind him, wishing to forget the painful memories of his past. From the tragic loss of his family, the anger and vengeance that ruled his youth, to his girlfriend who went missing. Only, now the dead body of that girlfriend has been found fourteen years later, and Nate wants answers. Past regrets, a lifetime of secrets, old hurts, and childhood pacts have not been forgotten, even if long buried.

There are a lot of layers to this novel. And I mean a lot. The novel alternates between the past and the present as Nate recalls his past and reveals present day events as they unfold. Lucy’s disappearance has always raised eyebrows, even with the note left behind of her planning to run away. Nate is the prime suspect given his relationship with Lucy and their last encounter before she disappeared. Nate is a complicated character, feared by some and revered by others. Upon his return visit and the discovery of Lucy’s body, the past comes back to haunt Nate and his friends tenfold.

I loved the juxtaposition between the events in the novel and the stormy weather. It seemed fitting too that it was raining much of the time as I read. Author Brendan Duffy has the gift of bringing a book to life—pulling me into the pages of the book and making me feel like I am right there with the characters, forgetting I am reading.

I was kind of taken by surprise by Brendan Duffy’s The Storm King, expecting a more fast paced thriller. What I got was so much more. The characters are well fleshed out, the writing is atmospheric, and the plot a complex web of mystery and suspense, coming of age, and the drama that comes from life and friendships, young and old. While I did race through the pages of The Storm King, I also found myself wanting to slow down to take everything possible in.

For more information about the author and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.


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28 comments:

  1. I've got a previous book of his, House of Echoes, to read on audio soon. I've also got this one on my radar. Sounds just perfect for me.

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    1. Kay - I have heard of House of Echoes, but have yet to read it. I think you would like this one.

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  2. I wondered about this book as I've seen it around. Good to know it's not a fast-paced thriller, more of an atmospheric mystery. I like books where weather and climate play a big part. The thought of the action taking place during a rainy season is appealing.

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    1. Rita - Me too! The stormy weather was the perfect backdrop for this novel, not to mention played into the events that took place so well.

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  3. The title sounds like it's fantasy but the blurb isn't :p But it sounds like a good read nonetheless!

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    1. Eustacia - The title can be seen that way, can't it? It's definitely not a fantasy novel though! It was really good.

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  4. I love books that are so compelling you want to draw out the time you spend with them.

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  5. This isn't what I expected at all from the title and cover but it actually appeals to me a bit more since I know it's a mystery. I'm glad that even though it wasn't the fast paced thriller you were expecting the character development and atmosphere were well done.

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    1. Katherine - It's a bit dark, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. If you do give it a try, I hope you enjoy it.

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  6. Oh this does sound good, thanks will check it out, quite like the cover xxx

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    1. Lainy - I would love to know what you think of this one. I think you might like it.

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  7. Love that this one turned out to be more than you expected; it makes me want to read it even more. :)

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  8. I've heard a lot about this one and am looking forward to it. I just love the cover for this one!

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    1. Iliana - The cover is gorgeous. I hope you enjoy it when you read it! It's pretty dark, but good.

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  9. Doesn't seem like my type of book sadly :( I really enjoy the cover though! Great review as always!

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    1. Elle - I really like the cover too. :-) Thank you!

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  10. This sounds wonderful. Sometimes thrillers can be so plot driven, it's nice to find one that has all of that extra depth to it. I'll have to keep this one in mind.

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    1. Suzanne - I agree! It can be nice to read a thriller that is more fleshed out--but sometimes those plot driven ones are just what we need too, aren't they? I hope you will give this one a try. I'd like to know what you think.

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  11. When a writer can make you forget you're reading---THAT's great writing :)

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  12. I have a copy of this one from NetGalley that I still need to read. It sounds like it is a very different book than I thought it was going to be but I am looking forward to it.

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    1. Carole - I hope you like it when you read it. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but that didn't hurt my enjoyment of it at all.

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  13. I enjoyed this book a lot. Brendan Duffy is one great storyteller. Although this is the first book I read by him, I know I'll be sure to check out his other books, new or old. :)

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    1. Melody - I would like to check out his previous book as well. I really enjoyed this one and am glad you did too!

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  14. Your review has me wondering if I gave up on this far too soon. Something about it didn't click with me when I first started reading it and I put aside and haven't been back. Much food for thought though -- thank you!

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    1. Verushka - I hope you like it if you do pick it up again. Some books just aren't a good fit for everyone--or moods can play a part in that as well. I know it does for me.

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