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Reviewed by Julia Hopkinson for Readers' Favorite
Reese's Leap is the second instalment in the Island Mystery Series by Darcy Scott, following 2012’s Matinicus. Botany’s answer to Indiana Jones, whisky- and women-loving Dr Gil Hodges, is back. This time he is a rather unwelcome visitor to Mistake Island, gate-crashing a women-only, back-to-basics week-long retreat with his friend - and boyfriend to one of the women - David Duggan. They’re only supposed to be there for the day, but when the tide and the fog conspire against them, the two men and five women are confined to the island with no telephones or electricity. Gil isn’t sure whether the uncomfortable atmosphere is solely down to his and David’s unexpected and unwanted presence, or whether the women have other reasons for the apparent in-fighting and resentment. When a sly and arrogant stranger appears from the other side of the island, the atmosphere shifts to one of threats and menace. Before the next day is out, one of the party is dead and Gil is determined to ensure that the rest make it off the island alive.
Reese’s Leap is a gripping thriller, with an engaging, sympathetic hero and an intriguing story. Darcy Scott has constructed a clever plot, utilising multiple point of view chapters, the island’s history and some well-described three-dimensional characters. The descriptions of the island, the house and Mistake’s way of life are very evocative; the characters’ dialogue was realistic and believable. The sense of tension and peril was tangible and I found myself reading faster and faster to get to the explanation of the mystery! I hadn’t read Matinicus first, but that didn’t matter because this book is self-contained and does explain some of Gil’s relevant background. I plan to go back and read the first book and I understand that a further sequel, Ragged Island, is due shortly. I recommend this book to all mystery lovers.