With the Cape Refuge mayoral race in full swing, the last thing Chief Matthew Cade wants is a missing person to deal with. The wife of mayoral candidate Ben Jackson has disappeared, causing the race to pause. But the case gets even more interesting when a psychic on the island claims that he knows where the woman's body is-and turns out to be correct. This causes new Christian Blair Owens to ask questions about the supernatural-questions with immediate answers. Cade openly denies any supposed power of the psychic, but Blair wants to whole story. Besides all this, the third mayoral candidate wants to continue the race without Jackson at all. Also, Sadie's mother Sheila has been released from prison ahead of time and as joined her children on the island, but has not kept herself out of trouble. With so much uncertainty on Cape Refuge, it's enough to drive one to madness. When will someone make sense of all the messes and answer some questions?
As expected, the Cape Refuge series isn't getting any better as it wears on. It seems to me that the biggest problem is the island's death count. How many people could possibly die on the same island? Why can't Terri Blackstock write a different plot? So far it's been all deaths and kidnapping. This is probably the series' biggest problem. Unfortunately, this problem is not alleviated in River's Edge.
The main miracle of this series is the consistency of the characters. None of them have changed much, except for maybe Jonathan, who is inching toward perfection upon his mayoral campaign. Otherwise, Morgan, Blair, Cade, and Sadie remain the same. Sheila provides an interesting flavor to the story as well. The identity of the villain is well concealed by the many suspects. Perhaps the biggest issue here is the lack of progress. These characters are stuck in a rut. Characters in a series should progress and become better and deeper as the series progresses, and I have yet to see that in the Cape Refuge series.
Terri wrote an extremely average and mediocre mystery in River's Edge that is only spiced up by the culprit confusion. Otherwise, it is quite cut-and-dry. Besides this, the surrounding elements, such as the mayoral race and the eternal romantic subplot between Blair and Cade are predictable and mediocre. Sheila's subplot provides a counter to this mediocrity, but it is not enough to alleviate this book's low rating. As I said before, if this series is to go anywhere from here, Terri has to invent a more creative plot pattern. She needs to make a change of pace before this series goes down the tubes.
Perhaps there is hope for Breaker's Reef, but hopes are dim with wedding bells tolling.
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