Lake Friction

Fiction - Thriller - Conspiracy
210 Pages
Reviewed on 05/09/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In Lake Friction by Ron McCarthy, Len has just arrived in New South Wales looking forward to some much-deserved peace and tranquillity. For the next three weeks, he will be the coach to the Morisset United Premier League football. One evening, with memories disturbing his sleep, Len hears a noise coming from the groundsman's shed. As Len thwarts what he believes to be a burglary, he concentrates on his coaching duties and enjoys fishing in the ideal Dora Creek. However, when Len’s closest friends become the targets of brutal and horrifying attacks, he feels compelled to bring those responsible to justice. This brings Len's hopes for a quiet existence to an abrupt end as he becomes the target of unwanted attention from the criminal gang's promise of revenge. As Len’s investigations deepen, he finds himself entangled in a web of corruption, violence, and revenge in the name of preserving the environment and preventing climate change.

Lake Friction by Ron McCarthy is an action-filled plot that is both interesting and relevant. There are many layers to both the characters and the storyline. The backstories of the characters have been cleverly woven into the story, which highlights their mindsets and personalities perfectly. I loved the complex character of Len. He is intelligent, sensitive, enigmatic, and can read people extremely well. The relationships between the characters developed wonderfully. I especially liked the relationship Len formed with his young team members and Jane. I thought the dialogue was fast-moving and realistically displayed the feelings and emotions of the characters. There are many scenes of great tension, especially the scene involving Fiona in the public toilets. The subplots support the main storyline perfectly, and I loved how everything tied together in the climactic ending. The story reveals the importance of protecting the environment and the descriptive narrative highlights the beauty of nature so vividly. There are also many moral messages in this story too around human behavior and what can result between individuals when these values clash.


The initial confrontation with thieves leads to later payback, and it’s fascinating how Len’s street smart skills save him. This thread is managed well throughout the novel as he confronts the dangers of storm and flood, and the actions of climate activists and looters. I enjoyed the attention to climate change and the impact on lakeside communities, a subject of increasing awareness.

Len’s relationship with Jane clashes with his coaching ambition in an interesting emotional conflict where the characterisation is clever. The build of intensity in the move toward the climax will capture readers attention. The outcome and human impacts are realistic and thought provoking.