Stranger At Sunset
By Eden Baylee
Psychaitrist Kate Hampton is on a winter vacation in Jamaica at a resort owned by friends Anna and Nolan Pearson. This year is a bit different because the Pearson are not only just coming off cleaning up after a hurricane caused damage, but Matthew Kane is returning. Kane is a travel writer who panned the property. Kate, however, even with her eidetic memory, cannot figure out from where she knows Kane. At the resort, Kate and Kane meet other guests, each with their own problems…and secrets. And problems and secrets lead to violence…and murder.
Supposedly a suspense that wasn’t. As I mention below, I didn’t get the gist of the book.
Kate Hampton: psychiatrist, eidetic memory, long dark hair, has tattoos
Matthew Kane: 49, travel writer, gaunt face, late 40s to 50s, receding hairline, food and other allergies, mother dead
Annushka ‘Anna’ Pearson: Co-owner of Sunset Villa Estates in Jamaica, black hair, former model
Nolan Pearson: Anna husband, marine biologist, plays drums
Jack Campbell: doctor, tanned, psychiatrist, homosexual,
Ben: bearded, big frame, suffers from arthritis, professor, has a daughter
Nadine: Ben’s wife, 50s
Greg: 6’3”, voice,
Tom: Greg’s spouse, fashion designer
A nice variety of personalities. Some people don’t have last names but there is sufficient background info to get a flavor for them.
I’m wasn’t too sure about Kane. His personality changes almost too abruptly. At the beginning he’s not very nice, but by halfway through, he’s hitting on Kate and nice to a boar (a person, not the animal). Kate, for the most part, bothered me as detail below.
Pretty straightforward. Some voices come through, especially the two from Tennessee. Some dialogue continuations after tag lines that didn’t have proper capitalization.
Book separated into Days with titled chapters. Some profanity. Some graphic descriptions.
Low tension for almost half the book.
Okay, now for the concerns. I didn’t quite understand the thrust of the story. There was no climax, per se, in where the killer was revealed in a scene of high tension and danger. In fact, I felt there was an anti-climax to the whole thing. I didn’t see where the other characters added much other than background scenery. A few received attention in scenes that didn’t make any difference to the story.
Kate’s strong relationship with a neighbor just fizzled in the end.
I was confused by the ending because it reveals a lot of background information regarding Kate that wasn’t foreshadowed very clearly. It was an information dump that, while fine, should have been piecemealed (if I can make this a verb) throughout. Kate, I thought was to be the central figure in the story, and I guess she was, but not as strongly as expected.
I think the main problem was there was no central theme other than wondering if Kane was going to write a better review for the resort. The other issues were sort of woven throughout that made the story unfocussed.