The Bay at Midnight by Diane Chamberlain

This novel is a hidden treasure for readers who love a fast-paced thriller, one that especially appeals to female readers.

Julie Bauer is living a carefree life of summers at the Jersey shore in the 1960’s, a budding Nancy Drew-like detective, hiding and finding clues to crimes she wants to solve. The idyllic summers come to a screeching halt in 1962 when Julie is 12 years old, and her social,  beautiful 17 year-old sister Isabel is murdered.  Izzy’s boyfriend is suspected, but ultimately a poor local resident named George Lewis is convicted of the crime. All events in Julie’s life are forever colored by her sister’s violent end.  As an adult, Julie becomes a mystery writer, solving crimes on paper, nice and neat.  41 years after Izzy’s murder, Julie receives a letter stating that George Lewis was wrongly convicted.  Julie is at cross roads in her life – a divorcee who has a pregnant teen daughter and an elderly mother, but who is still a snoop at heart. Julie begins to investigate on her own, trying to convince the police to reopen the case.

What could be a flat, one dimensional, basic suspense novel actually is multi-faceted as the family dynamics are fully explored after Izzy’s murder, and in its decades-long aftermath. Throw in a rekindled love between Julie and her childhood friend Ethan, and you’ve got a suspenseful novel with a touch of romance that fully hits it mark. This is one of my favorite Diane Chamberlain novels, and it is a great introduction to one of the best contemporary female writers of suspenseful domestic  fiction.  I also loved Chamberlain’s “The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes,”  a suspenseful novel with a local NC setting that makes a terrific book club choice.

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2 Responses to “The Bay at Midnight by Diane Chamberlain”

  1. momssmallvictories Says:

    I loved this book. I am a big fan of Diane Chamberlain, her stories are never predictableand I often fall in love with the characters. I enjoyed CeeCee Wilkes too but The Good Father and The Midwife’s Confession are still my favorite!

  2. momssmallvictories Says:

    I love Diane Chamberlain’s books. Her stories always keep me on the edge of my seat and I feel deeply connected to the characters. CeeCee Wilkes was great too but The Good Father and The Midwife’s Confession are my favorites.

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