cover image The House Across the Cove

The House Across the Cove

Barbara Hall. Laurel Leaf Library, $3.99 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-440-21938-5

A vacant house, a mysterious crate and a failing winery are a few of the alluring elements in this suspenseful romantic thriller. Late one summer at Flander's Lake, Tyler and Abby meet and promptly fall in love, despite the wide gulf between the two teens (Tyler's mother is mentally ill and his father recently killed himself; Abby's family is wealthy and her father is a congressman). After Tyler notices lights in an unoccupied house across the water, he and Abby become involved in a dangerous adventure that leads to Tyler's abduction, the murder of a writer and the discovery of secrets kept hidden by Abby's wealthy aunt. At first the protagonists appear to be stereotyped versions of Romeo and Juliet but, in their individual attempts to solve the mystery, they both struggle to come to terms with family problems beyond their control. Eventually they prove to be as complex as Hall's (Fool's Hill) well-crafted plot, which offers enough unexpected turns to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)