Lost Grove is a modern-day small-town supernatural mystery focusing on the enigmatic death of local college-girl Sarah Elizabeth Grahams and the subsequent investigation into her demise.
The novel commences with the macabre discovery of Sarah Elizabeth’s body on a beach, followed by the introduction of former San Francisco Police Department homicide-detective Seth Wolfe. Seth, who lived previously in Lost Grove, has returned to work as a sergeant for the local police department.
Seth works on the investigation alongside Sheriff Bill Richards. During his inquiries, Seth encounters a series of bizarre characters and uncanny revelations, which help him unravel the complex circumstances surrounding Sarah Elizabeth’s death.
Satisfyingly structured, carefully paced, and packed with surprises, Lost Grove is an intriguing mystery that impeccably blends horror elements such as vampirism, telepathy and changelings, into its modern-day crime narrative. Far from gimmicky, these unnatural features add immeasurably to the story’s mood, with the eerie locality of Lost Grove serving as a supernaturally charged backdrop for the investigation.
Seth’s big-city-detective-turned-provincial-policeman helps anchor the story as the novel’s morally upstanding protagonist. However, while he’s a relatable everyman for readers to engage with, it’s Lost Grove’s wider population—such as Mary Germaine, who was once bitten by a mysterious creature and has developed an insatiable blood-lust; Antoinetta Horne (aka Nettie) who believes her younger brother has been substituted for a changeling; and the Graff twins, whose telepathic, mind-control abilities have resulted in them being referred to Lost Grove’s sinister medical-facility, the Orbriallis Institute—who add vibrancy to the story.
In lesser hands, these tangential character arcs and plot threads might have crippled the novel’s pace. However, the authors do an exemplary job of weaving these various threads into the main narrative.
While various questions remain unanswered at the novel’s conclusion, which might frustrate some readers, overall, Lost Grove: Part One is an absorbing, atmospheric read that fans of crime and supernatural thrillers will find exceedingly entertaining.