‘This is going to be my first dead body.’
It should be straightforward. A family trust owns a decrepit, heavily mortgaged estate, in the hills of Paso Robles, California. The estate can only be sold if all the direct descendants agree to the sale. The descendants agree, certain conditions are stipulated.
What could possibly go wrong?
The developers who purchased the estate, in violation of the agreed conditions of the sale, start removing the magnificent oak trees. They also start demolishing the family cemetery on the estate, where a partially singed, recently buried body is discovered.
The police are involved, and then another much older body is discovered elsewhere on the estate. Are the deaths connected?
Three generations of the Alden-Stowe family are scrutinised by the police as they try to find out the truth. And what a complicated, convoluted tale they will uncover: deceit, rivalry, self-serving alliances and treachery. Just who will be ‘the lucky one’?
‘Someone had a secret. You can bury bones but not secrets.’
There are plenty of twists and turns in this novel, some more believable than others. I kept turning the pages, trying to work out exactly who was responsible for what (and I didn’t work it all out before the final reveal). There are quite a lot of different characters in this story. While many are quite stereotypical, they fit the story perfectly. I am in two minds about the ending. On one hand, I liked the neatness and cleverness of it. On the other hand, it irritated me. No spoilers, though, because that would ruin the impact of the read.
If you like fast-paced psychological thrillers, you may enjoy this novel.