The following review of Sara J. Henry’s Learning to Swim is published in conjunction with the author’s reading and book signing next Thursday, August 1 at 7PM at the Belden Noble Memorial Library in Essex, NY. Would you like to win a free copy of Learning to Swim or its sequel, A Cold and Lonely Place? Instructions follow the review!
I recently read Sara J. Henry’s debut novel Learning to Swim. It’s the winner of the Anthony and the Agatha Awards for best first novel and the Mary Higgins Clark Award. I didn’t read it because of the awards, though it definitely deserves them; I read it because this mystery novel takes place locally!
We start out the book with Troy Chance, our heroine, on one of the Lake Champlain ferries as she spies a child falling into the lake and dives in to save him. However, it wasn’t a case of a simple fall, the boy was restrained and expected to drown. Our mystery immediately begins with the question of who this boy is, what happened to him, and who would want to kill him?
As Troy asks herself these same questions she worries what will happen if she takes this boy to the police and he is returned to the very person who wants to harm him. With these fears in mind Troy makes it her mission to learn the truth and keep the child safe no matter what it takes. However this embroils Troy in an elaborate kidnapping plot that takes her from the Adirondacks into Canada and Vermont.
Troy is a very capable heroine, but she is also a human one. She makes some mistakes and misjudgements, but her determination and empathy are her strong suits. Her skills as a freelance journalist serve her well as she delves into the mystery of this kidnapping case.
When Troy reunites the boy with his father, her troubles aren’t over. Her decision not to turn him over to the police immediately makes her a suspect. While dealing with a suspicious detective and the threat that the kidnappers may return, Troy conducts her own investigation and deals with reintroducing the child to his family and what that means for her now that she’s grown attached – to more than just the boy.
A Quick and Intriguing Read
I finished the book in one afternoon. Though I am a fast reader that was a quick read for me. I couldn’t put the book down until the mystery was solved.
I had my suspicions as to who was the brains behind the kidnapping about halfway through the book, but there were a few twists and turns that had me convinced I was mistaken, so when I got to the end I was thoroughly surprised to find out who the culprit was and also pleased that my initial guess was right.
If you love mysteries and suspense, then give Learning to Swim a read. While the end resolves the mystery, I can’t exactly call it a happily ever after, however, it rings true to life because not all things end neatly or easily. Yet the book isn’t the end of Troy’s story, and you can read more about her in the sequel, A Cold and Lonely Place.
Learn more about the author on her website www.sarajhenry.com.
Win a Free Copy of Learning to Swim
If you want to meet Sara J. Henry, then you’re in luck because she will be in Essex soon! At the Belden Noble Memorial Library she will be present for a Talk and Book Signing on Thursday, August, 1, at 7PM.
Do you want to win a free copy of Learning to Swim? It’s simple! Come to Sara J. Henry’s appearance at the Essex Library and be one of the first two people to tell us that you’ve read this review or our upcoming review of A Cold and Lonely Place!
- Learning to Swim – Sara J. Henry (bibliolioness.wordpress.com)
- Belden Noble Memorial Library News & Events (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Cultural Assistance Program (CAP) Grants Announced (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Lake Champlain Maritime Festival August 16-18, 2013 (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)