Publisher: Bethany House (April 1, 2008)
"Eleven years ago, Vera Gamble's brother left their house never to be seen again. Until the day Vera gets a phone call that his body has been found...washed ashore in the tiny island town of Winter Haven, Maine. His only surviving kin, Vera travels north to claim the body..and finds herself tumbling into a tangled mystery. Her brother hasn't aged a day since last she saw him.
Determined to uncover what happened in those lost years, Vera soon discovers there are other secrets lurking in this isolated town. But Winter Haven's murky past now seems bound to come to light as one woman seeks the undeniable and flooding light of truth."
Reviewed by Gina Holmes
Dickson's Winter Haven has the thoughtful prose of a literary novel, the brooding damsel in distress of a Gothic novel, the intrigue of a mystery and a great romance to boot. What I noticed first was the writing itself which was so lovely, at times it distracted me from the story.
Athol writes from the point of view of a woman and manages to do this convincingly. He sets wonderful scenes, making me feel as though I were really on this island off Maine. I didn't realize until the conclusion just how complicated a plot he was weaving, but he pulls it off beautifully with an ending I can't imagine any reader will see coming.
Without giving a spoiler, I did feel one small plot line had a Scooby Doo sort of wrap up, but even that thread was fun to read. All in all, I think Dickson pulled off a very fine Gothic romantic mystery literary romance inspirational novel. How many writers can claim that?
This excellent book has something every reader can enjoy, no matter what genre they prefer.