cover image Blue Haven

Blue Haven

Lisa King. Story Plant, $26.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-61188-320-6

A lottery win has enabled introverted diner waitress Aloe Malone, the protagonist of this mind-bending thriller from King (Vanishing Hour), to buy into Blue Haven, “the world’s most lucrative beachfront community,” whose location is a secret. After agreeing to Blue Haven’s strict limits on personal tech and contacts with the outside world, Aloe was sedated before waking up in what seems to be paradise. She has a concierge always on call, restaurants feature celebrity chefs, the ocean’s temperature is regulated to fit her tastes, and an innovative device allows Aloe to sunbathe without risking sunburn or skin cancer. She even emerges from her emotional shell in the company of the other residents, who include a hunky former pro football player. But despite this, Aloe has flashes of unease, which increase after she finds a diary left behind by the former occupant of her home. As the action builds to a jaw-dropping reveal of the truth behind Blue Haven, King makes buy-in to her premise easy by dint of carefully thought-out characterizations and solid prose. This author’s creative imagination yields a story that’s both suspenseful and moving. M. Night Shyamalan fans will be enthralled. (Self-published)