Title: The Runaway by Lisa Childs
Bane Island Series Book One
Publisher: Zebra Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
I’m in trouble. Come get me.
On a remote island off the coast of Maine lies a secluded estate. There, behind wrought iron gates and rock walls, sits Halcyon Hall. Today, it is an exclusive spa catering to wealthy elites and pampered celebrities. But once, it had another name—and a terrifying reputation . . .
Rosemary Tulle has come to Halcyon Hall desperate to find her younger sister. Seventeen-year-old Genevieve left a brief, troubling message on Rosemary’s phone, begging to be picked up. But Rosemary is not on the visitor list, and no one will let her in . . .
Halcyon Hall was once Bainesworth Manor, an asylum for the insane. Such places often draw whispers about gruesome treatments and tortured inmates. In the case of Bainesworth, the reality may have been far worse. Now, staff insist that Genevieve ran away, but Rosemary’s instincts say otherwise. Rosemary and Genevieve share an unsual bond, and she knows Genevieve wouldn’t have just left. Compelled to turn for help to a man she hoped never to see again, judge Whit Lawrence, she tries to learn the truth about Genevieve. But it will mean uncovering secrets about Bainsworth Manor, and about Rosemary’s own dark past—secrets with the power to kill . . .
The first installment in the Bane Island series, The Runaway by Lisa Childs is an intriguing mystery.
Rosemary Tulle is frantically attempting to locate her missing seventeen year old sister Genevieve Walcott. After receiving Genevieve’s terrifying message, Rosemary drops everything to travel to Bane Island, ME. Unbeknownst to Rosemary, her mom and stepfather sent Genevieve to Halcyon Hall for some unnamed treatment. Once known as Bainesworth Manor, the facility has a dark past because of its history as an insane asylum that horrifyingly mistreated their patients.
Rosemary is met with resistance at Halcyon Hall and she is warned away by local Sheriff Deacon Howell. Angry and increasingly worried, she confronts Judge Whit Lawrence, the man she blames for long events that occurred when they were teenagers. Afraid to trust anyone and worried about her sister’s fate, Rosemary refuses to give up searching for Genevieve.
Rosemary is so worried about Genevieve that she does not always make well thought out choices. She also mistrusts Sheriff Howell so she is not always forthcoming with him. As Rosemary finds herself in unexpected danger, she makes a worrisome decision to continue her search. Although Sheriff Howell does not always trust her, he also believes that something is not right at Halcyon Hall. After a shocking discovery, Rosemary grows even more determined to find out the truth about her sister’s disappearance and what is going on at Halcyon Hall.
The Runaway is an absorbing mystery that is suspenseful. The characters are interesting but they lack development. The history of Halcyon Hall is fascinating and the people within its walls are harboring many secrets. With the chapters alternating between several points of view, the storyline sometimes feels a little disjointed. Some elements of the plot require a suspension to disbelief. With some clever plot twists, Lisa Childs brings this atmospheric mystery to a mostly satisfying conclusion. A bit of a cliffhanger will leave readers awaiting the next release in the Bane Island series.