Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: Cedardale Court by Nathan Lee Christensen

Title: Cedardale Court
Author: Nathan Lee Christensen
Publication Date: October 7, 2011

Buy Cedardale Court

Full of daring fools, haunting old flames, and burgeoning with panicked villainy, Cedardale Court captures the final days of Canner Connelly’s ten year struggle; his quiet avoidance of death. Despite his best efforts, and a well-intentioned move to the Oregon countryside, the safety and peace-of-mind he’s longed for since the passing of his wife, for him and his daughter, Chloe, finally appears to be within reach. But, upon waking the next morning, the promising start at Uncle Henry’s falls rather short as the sun comes up over the tree line, and the ever inept inhabitants of Cedardale Court begin to start their days. A domestic dispute, a little reckless driving, and a broken fire hydrant later, what normally might have been a very enjoyable Sunday quickly turns into a slightly darker affair as a severed human hand, well, half of one really, turns up in Uncle Henry’s bushes. Things only get messier and more frightfully uncertain as, one by one, the secrets that have so carefully been kept, for so very long, start to unravel for everyone. For Canner and Chloe, amidst the drunkenness, burgling, kidnapping, extortions and murders of the people around them, suddenly it’s no longer a struggle to maintain normalcy, or even an attempt to deny the familiar ghosts lurking around every corner; it’s now a question of whether or not they’ll come out of this with their wits, or if they’ll even make it out at all. In the face of the monstrously absurd, this little neighborhood, this absolutely out of control cul-de-sac, might serve as the key to opening the door for Canner and Chloe’s new life, or it might be exactly what it appears to be; the gateway to the undoing of them all. (Copied from Goodreads)

My Review

Cedardale Court by Nathan Lee Christensen is an interesting, unique twisting trail of a murder mystery, but it is also more than just a murder mystery. The story revolves around a group of characters, and through throughout the novel each sort of gets the chance to tell their story. The story starts with Canner and his daughter Chloe moving to Oregon to start a new life. They are moving in with Canner’s Uncle Henry on Cedardale Court. While they think this is the start to a new life, the next morning they are confronted by the horrors of a severed hand being dropped in their bushes.

While the focus of the story involves the murder, it is also, about how everyone handles the murder. It is also a lot about how the past shapes the future for the all the characters in the story. The story is experience through not only Canner, and Chloe’s eyes, but other characters such as Henry as well. It gives the story a unique perspective, and really adds to the story.

This story has a bit of everything murder, kidnapping, ghosts, and scarecrows. At first, I was not sure what to think of this book, but after reading the first few chapters, I started to get hooked. By the end of the book, I was speechless. I would have to say this is an interesting tales with so many elements, I could never see what was going to happen next. For me, that is what makes this book great, because I could not predict the next chapter.

I have to say I really like the sass and intelligence Chloe has, even if she is only ten. Her father is overprotected since he lost his wife in childbirth, but you can see how much he truly loves his daughter. I think that is the other element of the story that I love so much, because while there was murder and intrigue. There was still this family just try to adjust and move on with their lives in a new town. This is a book for Adults due to the swearing and violence involved in the book.

**Unabridged Bookshelf received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review**

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