Murder at Sunrise Lake by Christine Feehan
#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan reaches new heights of passion and suspense in this thrilling novel that takes readers deep into the California backcountry, where a woman is tormented by visions of a killer.
It starts in her dreams. Hideous flashes from a nightmare only she can stop. Images of a murderer stalking the ones she cares about most….
Stella Harrison thought she got away from the traumas of her past. Running the Sunrise Lake resort high in the Sierra Nevada mountains has brought her peace, even though she doesn’t truly share her quiet life with anyone. Not even Sam, the hired handyman that notices everything and always seems to know exactly what she needs.
Stella doesn’t know anything about Sam’s past, but somehow over the last two years his slow, steady presence has slipped past her defences. Still, she knows she can’t tell him about her recent premonitions. So far there’s been no murder. No body. No way to prove what’s about to happen without destroying the life she’s built for herself.
But a killer is out there.
And Stella knows that this time she’ll do whatever it takes to stop him.
Publication date 29/6/2021
Excerpt from the book…
As a rule, Stella knew everything there was to know about her employees, but not Sam. When she’d asked him to work for her, he had been a little reluctant. In the end, he had said he’d work for cash only. Under the table. She didn’t usually go for that. She kept everything strictly legal, but she was desperate for a really good worker who knew the kinds of things Sam knew. At the time, nearly every cabin needed renovations. Electricity, plumbing, walls crumbling. So much work. Motors on the boats. She needed him more than he needed her. She’d hired him thinking it would be for a short period of time. That short period had turned into over two years.
She stayed silent. Took another drink of coffee. Kept looking at the lake. What was there to say that didn’t make her look as if she were losing her mind? Nothing. There was nothing she could say. Even if she revealed her past, blew her carefully constructed lie of a life, what would be the point? There was no proof, and she doubted if she could get any proof that accidents weren’t going to be accidents and a serial killer was on the loose. As of that moment, even the fisherman hadn’t been found dead because no crime had been committed—yet. The killer would strike in two days. She needed to drive around the lake and look for the location.
“Been here over two years now, Stella. You never once locked that door. You don’t snap at the workers, especially if they make a mistake. That’s not your way.”
She didn’t look at him again. Instead, she kept her eyes on the lake. The tranquil lake that was so deep and could hold countless bodies if someone weighed them down. Above the lake the mountains rose with all the beautiful trees. So many places to bury bodies no one would ever find. Hot springs. Some of the hot springs were hot enough to decompose a body.
Without thinking, she pressed her fingers to her mouth the way she’d done when she was a child to keep from blurting out anything she shouldn’t say. A habit. A bad habit she’d worked to get over, and now it was back. Just that fast. Her fingers trembled and she wanted to sit on them. She hoped he didn’t notice, but he saw everything. She knew he did. Sam was that type of man. She dropped her hand back into Bailey’s fur. Buried her shaking fingers deep.
“Satine, you want help, I’m right here, but you gotta talk. Use your words, woman.”
“Did I really do that? Snap at someone because they made a mistake?” She did turn her head and look at him then. “Did I do that to you, Sam?”
His tough features softened for just a moment. Those dark eyes of his turned almost velvet, drifting over her. Unsettling her. “No, it was Bernice at the boat rentals the other day.”
Stella pressed the heel of her hand to her forehead. She had done that. Not yelled. But definitely been snippy. Okay. More than snippy. She was not a boss to be snippy or short with her employees. Bernice Fulton was older and had worked for her for over five years. She would take it to heart. “I’ll talk to her.”
That day was unusually hot when everyone had been expecting the cooler fall weather. Because it was, those staying in the resort had rushed to rent the boats, wanting to be out on the lake. Unfortunately, that included people who didn’t have the least idea how to run a boat, or dock one. Both Sam and Stella spent the better part of the evening rescuing very drunk parties of four, six and couples, as well as a single mom and her two very young children, who, thank heavens, were wearing life vests.
Fishermen had been complaining all day, a steady stream of grouchy, irritable or downright furious, mostly men acting superior, although most of them knew her now. They’d come to respect her over the years. Still, they weren’t immune to the unexpected high temperatures. Humidity when there was usually dry heat, and all the crazy tourists who didn’t have the first clue about how to navigate boats on the lake. Nor did those tourists even seem to have any manners when it came to sharing the lake with those fishing.
Stella had been yelled at, called names and insulted many times, mostly in reference to her IQ and ability to run a fishing camp—which Sunrise Lake was not, but she didn’t correct anyone.
From MURDER AT SUNRISE LAKE published by arrangement with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2021 by Christine Feehan.
⚠️Trigger warning ⚠️ there are subjects that may cause some triggers in some readers, so read the description and warning before proceeding.
I’m a big a fan of this author, I’ve read most of her paranormal romances. But this is the first time I’ve read any of her thrillers.
Stella is a resort manager, but she’s not always had that job, in a previous life she caught killers (reminds me of a book in one of her other series “Murder Game”) but her “sight” gave her nightmares and she walked away from that life.
Sam has his own secrets, a military man who did secret things for the government, he’s now the handyman around the resort Stella works at.
The friendship has always hinted at more, but neither of them have acted on it, but Sam is always there whenever Stella needs him….
The supporting cast is plentiful, and at times a little overwhelming! Some of the other characters in this book need their stories told.
The story has you working out the clues and trying to figure out who the killer might be. And I have to admit I did guess the killer pretty quick, but that didn’t take away from the story. We also get to read about the pasta of both the main characters. Stella had a horrible childhood and you could see why she didn’t want this “gift”, not many people believe her, or if they do they act differently around her after the event. Sam is our typical brooding hero, but has crazy skills that have your jaw dropping at times.
The story is told in the third person rather than the characters points of view. Me personally I like the third person story telling.
It’s a book I really liked. We get a little paranormal activity in this book, but it does focus on the murder/mystery. It’s more of a clean/sweet romance, so if your looking for hot and heavy, then this won’t be for you.
I’d happily recommend this book to anyone liking a mystery book.
Christine Feehan is the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of several novels, including the Carpathian series, the GhostWalker series, the Leopard series, the Torpedo Ink series, and the Shadow Rider series. Christine resides in Sacramento. Learn more online at christinefeehan.com.