Edge of Dusk
reviewed by Pam Guynn
Colleen Coble brings excitement, anxiousness, and action to the first book in the Annie Pederson series, Edge of Dusk. This is a romantic suspense novel with a subtle Christian fiction tone set in in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in and around the village of Rock Harbor.
Annie’s five-year-old sister Laura was kidnapped when Annie was nine. Annie has never forgiven herself for letting it happen and neither did her father. Annie is now 33 and has an eight-year-old daughter, Kylie. Her husband and parents were killed in a boating accident two years ago. She is now a law enforcement ranger. Additionally, she runs the Tremolo Resort and Marina. When she finds a dead body floating in Lake Superior, she begins working with the sheriff’s office to solve the crime. At the same time, her old boyfriend, Jon Dustan, returns after being away for nine years. His presence inflames some of the locals. He was linked to a cold case before he left for his orthopedic residency. Can things get any more complex? Absolutely!
The author does a great job of characterization. Annie Pederson is a likeable character with grit and determination. However, her grief and self-recrimination over Laura’s kidnapping and Jon leaving her have had a deep effect on her spirit. Kylie is usually sweet, but seems to have an unnatural dislike of Jon the minute she meets him. Many of the other characters have depth and either put readers on guard or invite them to learn more about them. Others needed a little more development, especially Taylor Moore.
This story has a multi-layered plot with several mysteries and some twists and turns as well as a few surprises along the way. It starts with a prologue set twenty-four years ago when Laura was kidnapped and then jumps to current times and a multitude of investigations and current case follow-ups. Additionally, Jon asks Annie to help him clear his name on the cold case. With the investigations heating up, Annie starts getting threats. Which case is causing someone to feel threatened and can Annie solve it before she winds up dead or injured?
The world-building is excellent. From the woods to the small towns to Lake Superior, readers are enveloped in the atmosphere of the Upper Peninsula. With lies, secrets, mysteries, and action, I couldn’t wait to read what was going to happen next. Themes include jealousy, friendship, misunderstanding, family, grief, anger management, murder, romance, kidnapping, and much more. While the main mysteries are wrapped up, there are several loose threads at the end of the novel that will make for excellent storylines in future novels.
Overall, this book was engaging, atmospheric, and suspenseful. It did a great job of keeping me hooked and having compassion for the characters through their struggles. This was an excellent start to what I hope will be a long series. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
Thomas Nelson—FICTION and Colleen Coble 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 July 12, 2022.