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Stormy Cove by Bernadette Calonego

Stormy Cove

by Bernadette Calonego

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An intriguing and rather complicated plot with lots of plot lines. Lori Finning's assignment to create a coffee table record of life in a remote Canadian fishing village turns into a murder mystery and an investigation of missing women. Rather inevitably it also has a romance strand, and also some danger to Lori herself.

Nicole Zanzarella does a good job with the narration, producing a number of voices to differentiate different characters.

The author also uses not only first voice narration but also some segments when a person is being interviewed about his/her impressions of the main characters in the story. This made for challenging listening. ( )
  smik | Jul 8, 2017 |
Although initially, I was not sure what I would make of Stormy Cove, a tale about a small fishing village in Newfoundland, I found the book very well written and the characters and plot captivating. Lori Finning, a free-lance, globe-trotting photographer based in Vancouver, lands a job to produce a coffee table book about vanishing communities in Newfoundland. Thus, Lori finds herself in Stormy Cove, one such fishing community. The villagers are a closely knit bunch, but welcome Lori and become interested in and ready to help with her project. However, this small community has a dark secret it hides and will not readily speak about: the disappearance and death of a young girl as well as of a young married woman and the subsequent suicide of this woman’s husband. Almost immediately after arriving, Lori is befriended by a strong, silent type fisherman, Noah. While working on her book, Lori delves into the community’s past, trying to piece together what exactly happened and how or if these three events are tied together and to the town. Noah will help her bridge the gaps between her own life and perceptions and those of the townsfolk.

This is a well written, fascinating book. It grabbed me almost from the start and help my attention throughout. Lori’s and Noah’s characters are well developed, as is their growing friendship/relationship. The town population is like any other in any other small town, interested and filled with town gossip and speculation, knowledgeable about almost everything that goes on in the town practically before or while it happens. Sometimes Lori hits a dead end in her search or is thrown a red herring, but, throughout it all, Lori perseveres looking for the information she needs while continuing to work on her coffee table book. Her patron, a mysterious woman from a publishing house, is also an enigma in the story. I figured out what was really going on about half way through, but kept at it to see if my suspicions were correct. The book is well done. Sometimes, translated books lose something in the translation and just do not give the punch they are meant to give, but this one reads as if there was no translation. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and will look for more by this author. I think anyone who enjoys a well written mystery will like this one. I received this from NetGalley to read and review. ( )
  KMT01 | Jun 4, 2016 |
I LOVED this book. The writing style, the characters, the unsolved mysteries, the budding romance, there was just something about this book. I felt like I was right beside Lori as she photographed Newfoundland (minus the very cold weather). Lori, a photographer fond of berets, is spending a year in a remote fishing village in Newfoundland. She's being commissioned to take photos for a coffee table book. Stormy Cove is completely different than her life in Vancouver. The general store doesn't even sell butter, only margarine. I cannot wait to read more books by Bernadette Calonego. ( )
  JenniferLynn | May 26, 2016 |
4 and 1/2 stars.
Stormy Cove by Bernadette Calonego and translated from German by Gerald Chapple is an evocative page-turner in which the setting of Stormy Cove in Newfoundland reflects the moodiness of the novel’s actions and characters.

Lori Finning, a Vancouver-based photographer, comes to remote Stormy Cove to take pictures for a coffee-table book for Mona Blackwood, a publisher in Calgary. Lori understands right away that this is an unusual request and that Mona may have an underlying motive, but takes the job which will have her residing in Stormy Cove for a year documenting the daily lives of the fishermen and other inhabitants.

Immediately Lori finds that the people of Stormy Cove, although close-knit, are welcoming and eager to help her. They invite her into their lives. One fisherman, in particular, Noah Whalen, mysterious and handsome, offers to take her around on snow-mobile and his fishing boat.

The death twenty years ago of one of Stormy Cove’s own, Jacinta Parsons, still hovers over the town and its people. Lori’s curiosity takes over and she probes into the murder along with the disappearance of Una Gould, whose house she is staying in. It soon becomes apparent that although the residents of Stormy Cove are congenial, they have their own secrets that they don’t share and they may even be misleading Lori.

And, then there’s the mysterious Isle of Demons where a strange, pained howling can be heard. No one knows why this howling occurs and there seems to be no natural reason for it, but once heard, it stays forever with a person.

As Lori’s life becomes entwined with Stormy Cove’s residents, another murder occurs, seemingly linked to Jacinta Parsons’. Who can be trusted now? And, what exactly is Lori capable of? Because she may not be as innocent as she seems.

Stormy Cove is cleverly plotted with a seemingly straight road diverging off into paths that dead-end or curve back. The reader begins to be unsure of whether the narrator is completely reliable and what exactly the “nice” people of Stormy Cove are hiding. However, thankfully, this isn’t written in the Gone Girl fashion of twists that has become de rigueur. In some ways, the tone and setting of Stormy Cove reminds me of gothic novels.

Calonego has done an excellent job of characterization. Lori is not just a straight-forward narrator. She is a complex character with faults and weaknesses that come into play. Although initially tactful in order to not alienate the townspeople, she becomes more brash. I found the characterization to be a refreshing change from the usual mystery heroines who are either glib and irreverent or mousy.

There’s a fair amount of interesting Canadian history regarding the native inhabitants, the European settlers, and the fishing life. As well, Calonego does a good job of bringing to life, the struggles of fishermen in an over-fished world.

Overall, an excellent read, much recommended.

This book will be published on May 24, 2016.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  SaschaD | Apr 28, 2016 |
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