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Reviewed by Jed Power for Readers' Favorite
It would be unpleasant if I had to say much negative points about a novel whose protagonist drinks my brand of beer. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about that. “Matinicus: An Island Mystery” by Darcy Scott, that spans generations, makes it unnecessary. Gil Hodges, a botanist and teacher, returns to a small island off the coast of Maine which had been home to one of his students now deceased. Immediately, dead bodies start popping up faster than a high tide among the clannish island inhabitants. At the same time Gil stumbles across a 200 year old diary with strange contents that seem to mimic the murderous events he finds himself involved in now. Toss in a beautiful nymph with an expensive sailboat and a recently deceased husband, a 15 year old motherless teen with her own secrets, a poltergeist bent on giving Gil assistance and an island cast of...well, characters. Very colorful characters indeed. It all adds up to a great read.
When I first read paranormal content and read that sections of the novel took place 200 years ago, I was wary, neither being my cup of tea. But there was no need for worry. The paranormal is minimal, necessary to the story and surprisingly, for me, quite enjoyable. Again surprisingly, I found the chapters that took place in the days of the early inhabitants of the island just as engrossing and just as chilling as those concerning their modern day descendants. Ms. Darcy paints a fine portrait of island life, in both time periods. She creates characters who are just that--characters, very secretive and dangerous characters. And quite believable. Can I use cliches? Sure I can. “Matinicus: An Island Mystery” is a real page turner. And, oh yeah, pass the popcorn, please.