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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Tempest On the Outer Banks by Rodney Barfield, the year is 1968 and Hurricane Gladys is heading towards Croatan Island, just as a lonely ship called The Last Run leaves the shore. The Last Run never returned. Fifteen years later, Kurt Salter arrives from the city to visit his childhood home. After losing both his parents, his father on The Last Run, Croatan Island has become a distant memory. As Kurt recovers from the end of his marriage, he plans the next phase of his life. He discovers the town has changed; with the fishing industry gone the town is almost unrecognizable. Kurt decides to settle on the island and pursue his love of photography and find romance again with Regina, an archaeologist, and a teacher. He discovers the island holds many secrets of the past which are linked to the crew members of The Last Run. As the residents are faced with a new industry tearing apart their beloved island, Regina makes a startling discovery; a survivor of The Last Run is found dead. Unsettled disputes that go back to the Civil War are reignited and Kurt is drawn into the search for answers about what exactly happened that fateful night in 1968.
The descriptive narrative of Tempest On the Outer Banks is absolutely breathtaking. There are many sub-plots to this book that are as strong and compelling as the main storyline. Kurt is such a multi-layered character and I loved watching his journey of self-awareness as he comes to terms with his fears, regrets, and heartbreak. Each of the unique characters leaped from the page. I felt as if I was actually part of the Croatan community. Rodney Barfield has painted the town in such an enticing manner that I feel every reader would want to visit there. As the story progressed, the layers of the plot began to unravel; murder, intrigue, romance, grief as well as gripping historical references. The author writes so poetically that everything in the story comes alive. The ending packed such a powerful punch; what an amazing scene to finish this memorable story.