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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
A young doctor lives a busy and satisfying life, but in an unprecedented and inexplicable turn of events, she finds herself exiled in the one place she fears the most in Storm Island (A Kate Pomeroy Mystery) by Linda Watkins. After experiencing a disturbing psychological episode while doing a medical procedure, Dr. Kate Pomeroy unwillingly retreats to her family's island estate to recuperate. Despite her childhood trauma of discovering her mother's body there, Kate's family insists she undergoes therapy with her noted psychiatrist aunt at her home. Not understanding the sudden, triggerless onset of her psychosis and not wishing to be hospitalized, Kate reluctantly agrees to the latter. Fortuitously, soon after her arrival, Kate runs into Jeremy, an old friend and a lifelong resident of the island. Their instant attraction turns into a romantic relationship, and Kate is happier than she has been in a long time.
Busy with Jeremy, the symptoms of her psychosis seem to have disappeared. However, when Kate discovers a stone structure without any perceivable entrance sitting in the middle of a clearing and describes it to Jeremy, not only can he not see it, but he also denies knowledge of its existence. Now, even Jeremy, the one person who didn't doubt her sanity, has begun to wonder if Kate is delusional. With her family threatening to have her institutionalized, time is running out, and Kate must find a way to prove she is as sane as they are. But with the evidence stacked against her, how can she prove it? Is Kate losing her mind, or is there something more sinister happening behind the scenes?
An intense and intriguing puzzle, Storm Island by Linda Watkins is a thrilling and suspenseful mystery novel that you can't put down once you pick it up. Complete with a complex plot, a fascinating story line, and wicked antagonists, it is a stunning story that keeps the reader enthralled until the very end. Beginning with the first chapter, it seems as if someone is behind Kate's psychotic episodes, but as the story progresses, you start to wonder if she might be delusional. Kate's ineptitude with human behavior and her slowness to question her circumstances give a realistic facet to her character that makes her relatable. Even though I thought I knew what was happening to her, I was kept guessing until the denouement. With all the psychological twists and turns, this captivating novel reminds me of a cross between a Hitchcock film and a Phyllis Whitney novel. It is an exciting tale of deceit and betrayal, with just a small hint of the paranormal, and will delight those who enjoy a good psychological thriller.