Deadly Secrets from Pond Island

Fiction - Mystery - General
332 Pages
Reviewed on 08/19/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Olivia Raymond was born in the small town of Greensburg, Indiana, known as "Tree City," due to the mulberry tree growing out of its courthouse tower. Her family moved to Indianapolis when Olivia was just seven years old, but by then, the small-town life had already taken root. Olivia enjoyed several careers before becoming a successful business entrepreneur. Her various life and career adventures provided her with many experiences that help shape her stories. She now resides in a small town with her family and sweet furry companion, Mr. Ralf, where she enjoys her time as a writer and volunteer for the arts in her community.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Deadly Secrets from Pond Island is a work of fiction in the mystery, suspense, and crime subgenres, and it forms part of the Vanessa Hutchins series of mystery novels. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Penned by author Olivia Raymond, the plot follows our series star, Vanessa Hutchins, a successful lawyer on the brink of a senior partnership, who experiences a transformative vision. This vision prompts her to abandon her legal career, buy a house sight unseen, and escape the city in search of a more meaningful life. However, her new beginning takes an unexpected turn when she discovers her new home is filled with a hoard of secrets spanning decades. As Vanessa begins to discover the truth behind the hidden secrets, she realizes the town's revered heroes might be involved in a dark conspiracy.

Author Olivia Raymond has penned a truly compelling page-turner that deftly explores themes of discovery, justice, and the consequences of unveiling hidden truths. The characters are well-crafted and relatable, and the small-town setting adds an intimacy to the story that amps up the tension by making everything else feel very closed in. One of the features I especially liked was the personality in the narrative, which blends traditional mystery tropes with a fresh touch of wit and a great undercurrent of genuine emotion to keep things realistic and resonant. Overall, reading Deadly Secrets from Pond Island was an engaging experience rocketing through a plot masterfully woven with suspenseful twists and turns, and I’d highly recommend it to other mystery and thriller fans to enjoy.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Deadly Secrets from Pond Island by Olivia Raymond is a mystery story with a difference. Vanessa Hutchins is a successful lawyer and is about to make senior partner until a strange vision haunts her. She makes the most impulsive move of her life, leaving her glittering career behind and moving to a house she bought without seeing it. On entering the house, she discovers a hoard that’s taken 30 years to build up. Rolling up her sleeves, she begins the clearout, only to discover a truth that will rock the town. A fatal injustice that has long been covered up has now come to light, and Vanessa must make a tough decision. Does she bury it again or expose the truth? She’s already in danger, and her decision could seal her fate.

Olivia Raymond’s debut mystery story, Deadly Secrets from Pond Island, is a thrilling tale of greed, injustice, and dark secrets that have the potential to turn deadly. This is a tightly written story with some amazing characters, well-developed slowly throughout. By the end, you’ll know them inside out, ready for what I hope will be the next story. The dialog is concise and witty, and the plot is thick with suspense and plenty of twists and turns that lead you deeper into the darkness before the light at the end of the tunnel brightens. This is a compelling story; once you start reading it, you’ll be transported into Vanessa’s life, and you won’t put the book down until you finish. Be prepared for an all-nighter because this is one book you’ll want to read in one go. A wonderful story for a debut; hopefully, there will be more from Olivia Raymond, clearly a very talented writer.

Demetria Head

Olivia Raymond's Deadly Secrets from Pond Island plunges readers into a riveting narrative that unfolds with a potent mix of suspense, revelation, and personal transformation. The story introduces Vanessa Hutchins, a determined woman on the cusp of a thriving legal career who abruptly detours into uncharted territory following a mysterious vision. This visionary moment triggers a domino effect of life-altering decisions, leading Vanessa to acquire a house sight unseen in a small, seemingly idyllic town. The narrative takes a gripping turn as Vanessa's initial optimism is met with a harrowing reality: the house conceals a decades-old hoarder's nightmare. The tension escalates as Vanessa confronts the immense challenge of cleaning her new dwelling and, in doing so, she unearths a dark truth that reverberates throughout the town.

Olivia Raymond's prose adeptly captures the essence of Vanessa's journey as she navigates from the bustling city to the tranquil yet enigmatic Pond Island. Vanessa's inner conflict and bold resolve are skillfully portrayed, allowing readers to empathize with her as she grapples with leaving behind a promising legal career for the allure of a more meaningful life. The meticulous detailing of Vanessa's new home evokes a powerful sensory experience, from the shadows dancing on the weathered siding to the promise of a sunlit interior. This is not merely a suspenseful tale; it delves into themes of societal façades, the weight of past secrets, and the ethical dilemmas that arise when confronting uncomfortable truths. The intricate web of relationships amongst the townsfolk adds depth to the story, with Vanessa's choices impacting not only her fate but also the interconnected lives of those around her. Deadly Secrets from Pond Island captivates readers with its compelling characters, evocative prose, and meticulously woven tapestry of secrets that will keep them eagerly turning pages until the final revelation.

Alma Boucher

Deadly Secrets from Pond Island is a mystery by Olivia Raymond. Vanessa Hutchins is working her way up to become a senior partner at a renowned law firm, and she has a distinct vision of her future self. Vanessa resigns on the spur of the moment, buys a home without seeing it, and moves to Pond Island. On opening the front door, Vanessa is met with a horrible smell and finds a massive hoard of items that need to be sorted. Vanessa hires people to help her clean up the house and discovers boxes that seem to be out of place. Going through the boxes, Vanessa finds that a great injustice had been done years before. She decides to learn the truth and starts investigating. Vanessa’s idyllic new life is shattered when she is in danger.

Deadly Secrets from Pond Island was intriguing and exciting. Olivia Raymond took me on a ride with new beginnings, finding the truth, danger, and friendship. The story was action-packed and a page-turner. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat, and I could not put it down. It was easy to become part of the small town and its community. The characters were well-developed, and my favorite was Vanessa. She quickly learned that being the new girl from the city made her the main topic of discussion, and everybody knew everything about her. The story was brilliantly written, and I was hooked from the beginning. I could never predict what would happen, and the ending was a big surprise.

Rabia Tanveer

Deadly Secrets from Pond Island by Olivia Raymond is a mystery thriller with suspense that will blow you away. Vanessa Hutchins was a brilliant trial attorney on her way to becoming a senior partner at her firm when she let all of that go. She quit her job, left the big city, and settled in Port Logan, hoping to find a balance between life and work. Little did Vanessa know she was in for a surprise. Her new house used to be a hoarder’s lair, and now she was left with a mess. As Vanessa started to clean out the house, she made friends in her new town and started to love it, too. However, before she knew it, she was knee-deep in a new horrifying mystery begging to be uncovered. Some people would kill to let those secrets stay buried beneath the dust, but Vanessa could not stop; not when the lives of her friends were on the line.

Packed with action and intense drama, Deadly Secrets from Pond Island was everything I expected it to be and more. Author Olivia Raymond weaved magic into the story with her words. Everything felt fluid and gentle. The details and the descriptions blew me away. I felt like I was part of the story and experiencing everything firsthand along with Vanessa. Speaking of Vanessa, she was a firecracker and quite a handful. I loved how she was at the front and leading in every situation. The suspense surrounding the town and the secrets it held were fascinating. There were plenty of characters, and each of them had something to share with readers. I hope Olivia Raymond has more planned for Vanessa because I want more.