I love to read. I read all the time, every day. Okay, I don't spend every day all day reading, but given the opportunity I would! I read various genres but sometimes I get stuck in a rut. I find myself pulling out my favorites and re-reading them. I enjoy a good story. I like to escape in to another world for a time.
I thoroughly enjoyed Refuge on Crescent Hill by Melanie Dobson for that reason. In fact, it had me neglecting a lot of things around the house as I couldn't put it down. I really like books that weave mystery and suspense throughout the story line.
The main character, Camden Bristow, finds herself at the bottom. She has lost her job, her apartment, and has very little money left. She turns to the one constant in her life, her Grandmother, but she hasn't spoken to her grandmother in a while. She arrives to find out that her dear Grandmother has passed away. However, she left Camden the family home. It seems as if life is getting a bit easier, but that's when the mystery begins.
There are rumors that the house she has inherited is haunted. There are rumors that there is a treasure hidden on the property. There are also rumors that her ancestors helped runaway slaves - that the house on Crescent Hill was a station on the Underground Railroad.
What I really liked was how all the characters were interwoven. It really is a small world out there and I found it quite plausible in how all the characters were interconnected. The connection to the Underground Railroad was also very interesting and it's peaked my interest to find out even more in this time period of US history.
Refuge on Crescent Hill is told from four people's perspectives about the mysteries surrounding Crescent Hill. At first I was afraid the different points of view would get confusing, but I actually enjoyed getting the whole story as it unfolded. Since the reader does follow the different perspectives, you tend to know everything as it is discovered by each person, rather than just as one person discovers it. Because of this, I wouldn't call it a hard-core suspense novel that leaves you guessing until the end; the twists and turns along the way were revealed more gradually. However, I enjoyed this way of telling the story.
I sometimes felt that the characters were repeating themselves a lot during their thoughts. I realize that we are following them during an intense period of time in their lives, and their focus is mainly on the house and what is going on in the town. But, it sometimes felt as if I was reading the same thoughts today that Camden had had yesterday and the day before. So, it felt a little repetitive in between the twist and turns and revelations.
Although I felt this repetitiveness at times, I was still engrossed in the story. I love when contemporary books explore a mystery that happened hundreds of years ago, and the way all the stories came together was really interesting. I also appreciated that the romance in this novel was present, yet understated, more like it would happen in real life. It didn't feel sappy to me, which I really respect in a contemporary novel.
Refuge on Crescent Hill is a novel that has it all: mystery, romance, compassion, history, and above all, hope.
I found myself really enjoying this book. I had never heard of the author was excited to get to read someone new to me. This book did not disappoint. Though I will say the start of the book (first few chapters) was a little slow and confusing since the author was setting the backdrop of the story and introducing the many characters. Once the story got going and you knew who was who I found the book hard to put down. I definitely would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery, suspense book with a little romance mixed in. I would say this is a 4 star book!
Oh my. This the first book I have read by Melanie Dobson and I am sure it will not be my last. I loved this book! I could not put it down! This story is full of twists and turns and will keep you in suspense until the very end.
The story has a very real feel to it. The characters are well developed and the plot line is very believable. If you love suspense you will really enjoy this story! I really loved the Camden and Alex. Camden grows and changes so much throughout this story. You watch her draw closer to God as the story progresses. I really like that this is a Christian story but is not your typical Christian fiction. I really loved this book!
Disclosure: I received this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.
Camden inherits the Bristow Mansion when her grandmother dies, but the house needs so many repairs and Camden is almost out of money so she doesn't know if she can keep the house that's been in the Bristow family for generations.
Soon though, she learns that someone is sneaking around her house - and stealing her purse! What is this person up to and what does he/she want with the house?...
I find houses that have hidden rooms or secret passageways interesting - and since 'Refuge on Crescent Hill' features a house that was a part of the Underground Railroad and has a secret tunnel, it's hardly a surprise that I really enjoyed it!
To me, 'Refuge on Crescent Hill' was a cozy mystery (I don't think I found anything scary, but there was a lot of mystery). It had an interesting plot and the characters themselves were intriguing.
After reading 'Refuge on Crescent Hill', I now look forward to reading more Melanie Dobson novels (maybe 'The Black Cloister'?)
I recommend 'Refuge on Crescent Hill' if you enjoy reading mystery novels with a little romance.
*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion.*