“They fell silent, both immersed in thoughts of what John had gone through. The sun didn’t seem so bright and cheerful anymore.”
It’s tragedy that brings Rachel to Mist Lake, and it’s tragedy that she finds once she gets there. Haunted Lake tells the story of her escape to a small cabin by a lake to help cope with the death of her best friend, only to discover death far more sinister lurking under the surface of this otherwise calm and picturesque lake. Thankfully, she’s not alone against the spirits, but how much help will Daniel, the handsome young man also renting one of the cabins, and John, their surly and scarred landlord, be against the mysterious forces of this haunted lake (get it??)?
Haunted Lake is a story more about friendship and love than it is about ghosts, though the ghosts definitely do provide an interesting method for these three characters to come together and discover their friendship. I enjoyed this book. It definitely got me in the mood to return to some of my own supernatural work, but it left me wanting so much more than was given. I would have liked more time, especially in the beginning, getting to know these characters. I felt I could have been more attached to the main character if the tragedy of her friend’s death didn’t happen right away. Those first few chapters could have been a really good chance to introduce a lot of elements about Rachel that surface later on in the book, where it seems a little bit of a jarring info-drop. In general, I think the pacing of the book was off, which threw off a lot of elements and made them a little less effective. Elliott could have taken so much more time developing her characters, showing us about them rather than telling, and saving her colorful prose for more useful and effective descriptions. There’s a bit too much focus on what the characters are eating, where they are sleeping, and their dropping off things at various cabins that are really superfluous, drag the writing down, and make me wish that, for every time she mentioned food, Elliott instead told me a little bit more about the characters themselves.
I liked a lot of things about Haunted Lake, especially the direction that Elliott took the romance and the friendship of the three main characters. At some points, it seemed a little hokey, especially when we were being told certain aspects of the character’s personality (aspects that would be much more effective if they were shown in some way instead), and the pace got a little plodding on a few minute details like eating and sleeping and traveling, but what this book suffered the most from was a big case of needing more. More characterization, more showing, more atmosphere. But a reader wanting more is a good sign that an author is definitely on the right track. I’d picked Haunted Lake as my first of Lauralynn’s books to read because I was so intrigued by the cover, and now I’m really intrigued to have a stab at some of her other works, too.
Books read: 4/100.