Review - Dead Lemons, Finn Bell

Reviewed By
Andrea Thompson

Finn Bell presents as a surprisingly pragmatic creature for all the challenges he is required to face in his every day existence.   Laconically hilarious plus unnervingly calm in a tight spot, is our Finn.  This is the strength of DEAD LEMONS, as the humour is presented shockingly side by side with all the heartbreaking details of the town’s murders.  The dark is balanced with the redemptive light that emanates from Finn finding his way back to what it is that makes the world turn – the complexities of human relationships.

DEAD LEMONS is an absorbing and disturbing window into a part of the world that time seems to have left well behind.  Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t look, don’t dwell.  Injecting a character like Finn into such an eerie and remote location is reading gold as there is a push/pull with his modern awareness and the slow pace practiced by its residents. There is so much in Finn’s character to like, admire and barrack for.  Hoping very much to see this character again.  The pace does slacken off during the middle of the novel a little as so much is discovered in such a short space of time right at the start.  Kudos to the author for not dwelling on any physical limitations of Finn as he crawls and throws himself around where necessary.  A very polished debut novel that any crime fiction enthusiast will enjoy.

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

In the far south a young girl goes missing, lost without trace in the wilderness beyond her remote family cottage. A year later her father disappears in the same place. Then nothing. At all. Eventually the years grow over the grief. The decades wear away the questions, life flows past the forgotten tragedy. 

Until Finn moves into the abandoned home, looking for a fresh start. 

A place to heal himself far from his old problems. But rebuilding life is complicated by chance encounters and odd occurrences leaving Finn with the growing suspicion that the people here are harboring a terrible secret. Suspicion turns to obsession the deeper Finn digs while also facing steadily escalating dangers in the here-and-now. Soon Finn's own journey of recovery becomes inextricably linked with his need to unravel the mystery. Past and present finally collide when Finn starts to learn the truth about this place and himself. Now he must choose between exoneration and condemnation, justice and vengeance. 

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