Title: Carolina Moonset by Matt Goldman
Publisher: Forge Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 272 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Both suspenseful and deeply moving, Carolina Moonset is an engrossing novel about family, memories both golden and terrible, and secrets too dangerous to stay hidden forever, from New York Times bestselling and Emmy Award-winning author, Matt Goldman.
Joey Green has returned to Beaufort, South Carolina, with its palmettos and shrimp boats, to look after his ailing father, who is succumbing to dementia, while his overstressed mother takes a break. Marshall Green’s short-term memory has all but evaporated, but, as if in compensation, his oldest memories are more vivid than ever. His mind keeps slipping backwards in time, retreating into long-ago yesterdays of growing up in Beaufort as a boy.
At first this seems like a blessing of sorts, with the past providing a refuge from a shrinking future, but Joey grows increasingly anxious as his father’s hallucinatory arguments with figures from his youth begin to hint at deadly secrets, scandals, and suspicions long buried and forgotten. Resurfacing from decades past are mysteries that still have the power to shatter lives—and change everything Joey thought he knew.
Especially when a new murder brings the police to his door…
At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Carolina Moonset by Matt Goldman is an atmospheric mystery that tugs on the heartstrings.
Joey Green is in Beaufort, SC to help take care of his father, Marshall, whose short-term memory loss leads to a heart wrenching diagnosis. After realizing how exhausted his mom is, he convinces her to take a short vacation with a friend in FL. Joey is distressed by the changes in his father but he remains patient and tries to enjoy this time with his dad. When a murder occurs close to their house and the police attention turns to Marshall, Joey and his neighbor’s daughter, Leela Bellerose, work together to solve the case. Does the key to finding the killer have any relation to events that occurred in his father’s past?
Despite the shock over his father’s illness, Joey and Marshall spend time fishing with his dad’s long-time fishing guide, Bubba. After the murder, he tries to protect his dad from the police as they immediately treat him as a suspect. Marshall’s agitated ramblings provide Joey with important information but can he convince his father to tell him what has him so upset? At the same time, Joey and Leela grow closer, but a future together seems impossible.
Carolina Moonset is an intriguing mystery with plenty of personal moments. The characters are vibrantly drawn and appealing. Marshall’s family and friends’ reaction to his dementia will resonate with readers who have also dealt with this crushing blow. The secrets Joey unearths are true to place and time period. Despite a few missteps from good intentions, the murder investigation is interesting (albeit frustrating at times). Matt Goldman brings this clever mystery to poignant conclusion.