reviewed by Pam Guynn
Michael Ledwidge brings intrigue and action to his latest crime novel, Beach Wedding, set mainly in Southampton, New York. Terry Rourke and his wife and daughter are spending a month at a luxurious home in Southampton on the beach. His oldest and wealthy brother is getting married and has invited the whole family to stay at the house prior to the wedding.
The Rourkes grew up in a nearby middle-class neighborhood where his father, Sean, was an Assistant District Attorney 20 years ago. Sean’s last case was a murder trial that changed their lives forever when he lost the case and subsequently drowned. Terry, a Philadelphia cop, can’t resist looking at the old case while he’s in the town. But messing with the rich and powerful can be dangerous.
Terry is a likeable and determined character, but sometimes gets so wrapped up in his investigation that he can lose sight of other things. The author did a great job in bringing the Rourke family to life as well as the non-family characters. The characters were quite believable, and injected with a blend of attributes both good and bad.
The plot is well-developed and clever and the narrative is descriptive, bringing the locations to life. There’s also a bit of humor which relieves some of the tension from time to time. The pacing was just right and the writing style was smooth; even with relatively short chapters it draws the reader into the story. While it takes a while to get to the mystery as readers learn about the lives of the members of the Rourke family, the intrigue grows as the investigation falls into place.
Don’t expect much action until near the end of the novel. This is more about the investigation and the people involved in it and those affected by it as well as uncovering the mystery. I appreciated how the author showed the impact on many characters, not just the Rourke family. The action at the end is nerve-wracking and somewhat harrowing, and it includes a shocking surprise or two that I didn’t see coming. Themes include family, friendship, corruption, murder, money, and power.
Overall, this was suspenseful with a great mystery and compelling characters that kept me turning the pages. It is well worth the read and provides entertainment, thoughtful moments, and thrills. This is the third solo book that I’ve read by Ledwidge and I’m looking forward to reading more books by him.
Harlequin Trade Publishing – Hanover Square Press and Michael Ledwidge provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for February 15, 2022.