If I ever meet Charlie Tyler in person I’m going to keep a safe distance.

A lake on the surface is calm and serene, but underneath it is a dark and dangerous place. Perhaps the same could be said of Tyler. Friendly and accommodating on the outside but a raging hellstorm of murderous intent within. Or at least, she is if this, her debut novel, is anything to go by.

Right from the off the reader is thrown in at the deep end (pun intended) with a body that needs disposing of. From then on things only get worse. This unfortunate victim has been killed for no other reason than to frame an innocent man. So far so cosy crime. But before you settle down with a mug of cocoa, looking forward to that old trope of the investigating detective gathering his or her suspects together for the inevitable revelation, just know that things don’t stay cosy for long.

In The Cry of the Lake, even the secrets of secrets have secrets, and nothing is as it seems. The story demands your attention but never loses you, and with every revelation you feel yourself getting dragged down deeper and deeper into the murky depths of madness and despair. Also, the characters are richly drawn and the author doesn’t compromise on making them complex and multi-layered.

This is a brutal read and is never less than utterly compelling. By the time I finished it I felt like I needed to come up for air. And I’m only joking about Charlie. I know for a fact she is a sweet and accommodating person. However, I think we should all be grateful that she exorcises those dark thoughts of hers in her writing, otherwise we’d all be in trouble!

Published by Richard E. Rock

Cat-loving, headbanging author of the dark and fantastical.

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