"...I thought you were dead," are words most people don't expect to hear, least of all Elise Moloney on her first day of grad school at Wickman College on Cape Cod. Since Elise's parents never kept adoption a secret, she's shocked to discover the existence of an identical twin sister Hannah McPhee; a sister who died in a tragic accident on the Drowning River pier the day before their last birthday. At the urging her fellow dorm hall resident Parker Reilly, Elise delves into her sister's life and the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death; but the deeper she digs, the more Elise suspects foul play and the further she places her own life in danger.
Kim Byrne makes a strong debut with THE DROWNING RIVER by taking the cliché of identical twins separated at birth and giving readers a plausible mystery. Centered on a strong protagonist, Ms. Byrne keeps the narrative focused and moving at a brisk pace while deftly juggling multiple suspects. While there are a few moments of clunky prose, awkward transitions, and a somewhat overwrought climax, these are minor flaws that will no doubt, smooth over with time and experience. THE DROWNING RIVER is a solid, satisfying "whodunit" from a promising new author. I look forward to watching Ms. Byrne's skills and talent develop in the future.
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