Letitia Trent, 348 pages, Dark House Press, thedarkhousepress.com, $15.95
Vermont writer Letitia Trent’s poetic past is evident in the fluid and humid atmosphere she creates to surround her protagonist, Emily Collins. Echo Lake follows Emily as she carefully unravels the secrets of a family she never knew in a small town full of murder and hushed whispers.
After the death of her Great-Aunt Frannie, Emily finds her way to rural Heartshorne to settle into her newly inherited house — only to find that Frannie had been murdered, and that her entire family history is laced with hidden secrets.
Letitia Trent is a talented wordsmith and illustrates her settings with lush detail so poetic that I could feel the hot sun and bugs as I delved further into the story.However, her characters could benefit from the same detail given to Heartshorne. Emily is a heavily emotional ball of nerves and not much else, making it hard to understand her motivations for coming to Heartshorne (besides, of course, the prospect of a new house).
That being said, Echo Lake remains an intriguing story of deceit in a small town where everyone knows your past except for you. (Nav Nagra)