3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Alan Arthur Katz
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I must have done something right in my life - three five-star books in a single week. And on top of that, discovering a heretofore unknown-to-me author whose work just blew me away.
Mr. Round is just enormously gifted. Lake On The Mountain is a 500 page book, but it just flowed so beautifully, and I ached so deeply for the characters, that I just couldn't put it down.
This is the story of a detective - not a traditional Film Noir, hardboiled detective, but a private detective, a gay private detective, a gay private detective with a 15-year-old son who specializes in finding missing persons - not always alive.
This character, Dan Sharp, is troubled, and far, far less than perfect. He's a man whose mother died when he was young and his father, distant and endlessly disapproving. Dan is in danger of becoming his father. His anger is right on the edge, his self-destructive behavior escalating, and he puts up with a "lover" who is distant, disapproving, and screwing around with other men. Not to mention that he drinks a hell of a lot too much.
He attends the wedding of a wealthy, young gay couple on Prince Edward Island (Canada). They dance at the mansion, they get married on a yacht. Then people start dying. Even worse, long-held and long-festering secrets start to come to the fore when Dan investigates the murder at the cold, calculating mother's behest. Invariably, things come out. Her husband, the father of their two children, disappeared more than twenty years ago, after he was accused by his wife of assault. The then-high-school-principal was fired, and the courts forbade him to see his own children. Of course, all that was engineered by the evil woman he married.
There are amazing parallels between Craig, the missing father and Dan - the father who is spiraling out of control. Researching Craig's story, Dan discovers his own - and a new found belief that he doesn't have to let the damage of his childhood rule his life.
At times, Dan is brilliant, cruel (when he lashes out), ridiculously gullible (when it comes to his personal life), but still compassionate and desperately needing to protect and love his son, Ked.
Some books are so well-written that they become literature, and Lake On the Mountain is one of that rare breed. The dialogue, settings, interior conversations and pacing are stunning. There's hot sex, but it really doesn't matter - it's an integral part of the story and Dan's journey to self-discovery. He is one of the most messed-up anti-heroes I've encountered in 50 years of reading, yet one of the most beautiful and hopeful.
To top it all off, Lake On The Mountain is both beautiful and beautifully written. What a combination!
Later tonight, I start on the next Dan Sharp novel - or any book by this amazingly talented author.