Category Archives: Bitterroot Lake

Review: Bitterroot Lake by Alicia Beckman

Title: Bitterroot Lake by Alicia Beckman
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 326 pages
Book Rating: C

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


When four women separated by tragedy reunite at a lakeside Montana lodge, murder forces them to confront everything they thought they knew about the terrifying accident that tore them apart, in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman’s suspense debut

Twenty-five years ago, during a celebratory weekend at historic Whitetail Lodge, Sarah McCaskill had a vision. A dream. A nightmare. When a young man was killed, Sarah’s guilt over having ignored the warning in her dreams devastated her. Her friendships with her closest friends, and her sister, fell apart as she worked to build a new life in a new city. But she never stopped loving Whitetail Lodge on the shores of Bitterroot Lake.

Now that she’s a young widow, her mother urges her to return to the lodge for healing. But when she arrives, she’s greeted by an old friend–and by news of a murder that’s clearly tied to that tragic day she’ll never forget.

And the dreams are back, too. What dangers are they warning of this time? As Sarah and her friends dig into the history of the lodge and the McCaskill family, they uncover a legacy of secrets and make a discovery that gives a chilling new meaning to the dreams. Now, they can no longer ignore the ominous portents from the past that point to a danger more present than any of them could know.


Bitterroot Lake by Alicia Beckman is an intriguing mystery with slight supernatural elements.

Within a few weeks of her beloved husband’s death, Sarah McCaskill Carter returns to Montana for a family visit. Her mom has requested her assistance in opening up the family’s historic summer lodge. Upon arrival, Sarah discovers her old friend Janine Neilson staying in one of the cabins on the lodge’s property. When Janine finally admits why she is in hiding, Sarah insists on calling her cousin, Sheriff Leo McCaskill to report the murder of lawyer Lucas Erickson. Janine calls their lawyer friend Nic for advice and she arrives with Sarah’s sister Holly. In between trying to figure out who killed Lucas, the women attempt to repair their fractured relationships.

Sarah’s family has a long history in her small hometown and they still own a thriving logging company.  Years earlier, she and her husband relocated to Seattle where they raised their two children who are now in college. Unsure what the future will hold for her, Sarah and the others delve into the history of the lodge. She also tries to understand the meaning of the nightmare she keeps having. Sarah also tries to uncover why she has the sensation someone is watching her.

Sarah, Holly, Janine and Nic remain at the lodge and their time together is fraught. Janine remains resentful of Sarah’s advice from twenty-five years ago. Holly is also at odds with her sister as hidden resentments begin spilling over. Nic is dealing with an issue at home but she is committed to protecting Janine’s best interests. Sarah is also wondering what is going on with her and Holly’s mom, whose behavior is a little troubling.

Bitterroot Lake is a slow-moving mystery with an interesting premise. Sarah is the story’s narrator and she is defensive with a bit of a hair trigger temper.  The isolated setting provides a spooky backdrop for the women to try to mend the rifts in their relationships. The busy storyline is occasionally a bit confusing and Lucas’s murder gets lost among the other dramas playing out. With the pacing picking up, Alicia Beckman brings the mystery to a satisfying conclusion.

Comments Off on Review: Bitterroot Lake by Alicia Beckman

Filed under Alicia Beckman, Bitterroot Lake, Contemporary, Crooked Lane Books, Mystery, Rated C, Review