Raven Lane is the latest domestic thriller by Amber Cowie. Esme and Benedict Werner, as well as the other residents of the exclusive Raven Lane, are happy with their lives – or at least that is how it appears from the outside. That is, until a fatal accident on a Friday night culminates in a murder investigation. Things on this street are not at all as they seem.
I would like to start out my review of Raven Lane with this sentiment: Amber Cowie is an incredible writer. I am impressed, and will definitely add her previous work, Rapid Falls, to my TBR List. One aspect I was most impressed with is how she utilised the plot point of one of the character’s reading a book to draw parallels to the plot of the novel as a whole. This was, quite simply, brilliant. I would honestly recommend this book for Cowie’s writing alone.
Unfortunately, I have some issues with the plot and pacing of Raven Lane. I appreciate that this is completely subjective, but I feel that the story is a bit too slow to start. Although classed as a thriller, I think it would be more accurate to call Raven Lane a domestic mystery. When I read a thriller I expect to be shocked or frightened in some way, but I wasn’t with this book. In fact, I was left a bit confused by the ending as it left some unanswered questions. I believe that this was intentional, but it didn’t work for me. That being said, I can see why others love it. It all comes down to preferences and expectations; I started Raven Lane expecting it to be a thriller, so I was left disappointed. Perhaps if I had been expecting more of a mystery, I would have been more impressed.
Esme and Benedict Werner have an idyllic life in a tight-knit community until an accident in their cul-de-sac ends in the tragic sudden death of one of their dearest neighbours. After vindicating eyewitness accounts morph into contradictory memories, suspicion, and unaccountable accusations, Benedict is arrested. Esme’s life, too, is changed forever.
As the neighbourhood largely turns against her and her family, Esme has time to think about her past and what to do next. Then her fellow residents start looking deeper, questioning one another, and themselves, about huffed lies and betrayals.
Esme has more than her share of secrets. And the consequences of what happened on that fateful late-summer evening on Raven Lane are far from over. When the mask of civility slips, can friends and neighbours recover from seeing the monstrous truths beneath?
Amber Cowie is a Canadian author. She has written two novels – Raven Lane and Rapid Falls. She was short listed for the Whistler Book Award in 2017.
Raven Lane is brilliantly written, but it fell short of my expectations because of the pacing and plot. I would recommend this novel for fan’s of domestic mysteries.
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
I would like to sincerely thank NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for my advance copy of this book.
Have you read this book? I’d love to know your thoughts.
Amazon UK: here
Amazon US: here