You know me, I love books about the Thousand Islands, and I have given high marks for John Lefevere’s past novels featuring Jill and Steve Stone, who live on Tranquility Island (which looks a lot like Calumet Island!) So reading Deep River Deception should have been no different – yet it was, in the beginning.
The first half of the book is filled with references to many characters and you have to pay attention. As well, the first half is filled with island history. Ha, Susie Smith loves island history! Much of the excitement takes place on Carleton Island, in or near Fort Haldimand, and having explored the Fort several times when I was on the Board of the Thousand Islands Land Trust (who are the owners and stewards of this amazing historic property), I loved every reference and the story to boot!
However, when I got to a page in Part 2, I literally could not put the book down. (No stopping for dinner!) I wrote to John to say I was there, and he was pleased.
Here we go . . .
“All eyes in Clearview were on the video of Jill Stone, with the exception of one pair. By late afternoon on June 25th, local residents sat transfixed in front of televisions or computers watching the same video over and over again in disbelief. Muttering to themselves or their significant others or to anyone else in the room who would listen, in the case of bars or the VetsPlace.
“Told you she was a phony.” “I knew that whole thing was fishy.” “I never did like her. Or that husband of hers.” These were some of the comments of cynics and those who had once believed whatever the young woman told them in interviews, on TV or in her press conferences. Profound disbelief and shock in the tiny New York village. “How could she do such a thing?”
There are 473 pages on my iPad’s Kindle App, which meant that the next 300 or so pages had one Susie Smith right there, zooming around the River, hearing names such as Wellesley, Grenell, Fort Wallace, and even Honey Bee Island in the Rift. Also, my favourite island name - Barnard Island – gets amazing credit. (Barnard is the real name for Washington Island, connected by a causeway to Clayton, NY.) So many history questions are solved. The characters are so real, and in some cases very mean and miserable – and Susie Smith was very happy to be going along for the ride. Yes, from that point on, I put Deep River Deception at the top of the Holiday reading list.
John Lefevere’s books are all fascinating. The past three about Jill and Steve Stone are written appropriately for the times. In January 2018, I interviewed John in TI Life after Jewels and Ghouls was published. I think you will enjoy that interview. I wanted to know more about how that story came together. John’s answers are a perfect example of why his writings are so interesting. (See Book Review: Jewels and Ghouls (A 1000 Islands Novel Book 2))
But don’t just take my word about purchasing these books; poke about on John’s website, read his biography, and review his books. He is most proud of one review that was titled, “This man can write.” And it is true.
Deep River Deception is available only in the Kindle Store and free on Kindle Unlimited.
By Susan W. Smith, Editor
Posted in: Volume 16, Issue 11, November 2021, Book review
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