Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Release Day Review: The Gates of Evangeline - Hester Young

If I had an active book club right now, I would be demanding this be our next read. I want to discuss this one with somebody so badly!

Today, September 1, 2015, you can purchase the captivating Gothic mystery The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young. It's one of those books where you know you've figured out the mystery, but it turns out there are 20 others to surprise you. There's a sprawling Louisiana estate, a wealthy family with all the dysfunctions you'd expect, and a 30 year old missing child case that Charlie, the main character, becomes wrapped up in. I loved The Gates of Evangeline, it can easily be read as a stand alone, but I am looking forward to the next two books in what is sure to be a very popular trilogy.

5 stars
Published: September 2015
Many thanks to Netgalley and G.P. Putnam's Sons for an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

Charlotte "Charlie" Cates is barely moving through the motions of life after the death of her young son. Her friends are worried, her coworkers have given up on her, and she's started having strange dreams about children. Except they aren't dreams, they're the future and Charlie can't ignore them. When an opportunity arises to work on a cold case novel about a missing child, she accepts and takes off to Louisiana. A long way from New York, Charlie becomes wrapped up in not only the mystery surrounding Gabriel Deveau's disappearance, but the mystery surrounding the family and those that are around them.

The Gates of Evangeline is so much more than just a southern Gothic mystery, there is romance, drama, and a pinch of paranormal. I was so wrapped up in this story and I really enjoyed the twists and turns as the mystery grew. Charlie is a character that I could really feel for, she had so much pain to deal with and faced the cold case of a missing little boy head on. The Deveau family is totally cliche, but it works. I would never have picked out who was involved, even though I had guessed the mystery fairly early on. No character is treated as a minor character, they had depth and each brought something to the story. I really enjoyed Charlie's interactions with Detective Minot, as well as with the staff of the Deveau family. There was always something sneaking past me as I read a major plot point and the surprises just kept coming.

The mystery is predictable and sometimes the interactions between characters seem unrealistic. While well developed, some of the characters are so exaggerated that a true southerner will find flaws in their language and in Charlie's quick judgement.

I really enjoyed The Gates of Evangeline and if I didn't know better I would say Hester Young is a seasoned gothic mystery author. As a reader, you know all the details about the beautiful estate and every character's involvement, I love that kind of atmospheric detail. I would absolutely recommend this to my women sleuth loving friends, plus it is the first in a trilogy that is sure to be great.

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