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Reviewed by Teresa Syms for Readers' Favorite
The Man in Cabin Number Five by Chrysteen Braun is a mystery romance novel. This is the tale of Annie Parker who after nine years of marriage discovers that her husband has been cheating on her. Annie packs her bags and leaves him. She ventures to Lake Arrowhead, California, a mountainside town where Annie and her family vacationed when she was a child. Annie falls in love with the location, the scenery, the people, and the cabins. To keep herself busy and away from thoughts of her divorce, she takes on some decorating jobs for a select few clients, but she discusses an idea with Sam, the owner of the lodge and cabins. With the money she receives from her divorce, she wants to purchase the cabins from Sam and run them as B & Bs. He loves the idea and Annie’s passion runs wild as it does for a younger man she has met named Noah. They have an immediate connection and become more than fast friends. Alyce Murphy, a middle-aged lady, needs closure on her family history and the tragedy she just learned about before her mother died. Alyce and her family have a connection to Cabin Number Five, and Alyce is determined, with the help of Annie, to discover the truth about her father’s death and the death of his best friend and family. This appears as a parallel story. While Alyce is looking for closure on her ordeal in life, Annie is trying to rebuild and learn who she wants in her life. Will Cabin Number Five hold the answers? Time and a good cleaning out will tell.
Masterfully written, intriguing, mystifying, and spooky is how I would classify The Man in Cabin Number Five by Chrysteen Braun. As a great background, Braun uses the mountainous area and cabins to her advantage in telling the stories of Annie and Alyce. This is an exceptional plot, never leading the reader too far from the original storyline. Her character development is outstanding. I was able to feel everything Annie felt. The anger toward her sister Loni, and the indifference toward her husband David end up as emotions of loathing, mistrust, and bordering on hatred. The reader can sympathize with Alyce Murphy. She needs answers desperately about her father. Her husband wants her to stop looking, and her mother told her some of the situations when it was too late, but Alyce wants to know. I applaud the author, as this is an entertaining work that will keep the reader hooked until the end. Congratulations on an exceptional book.