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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Meghan Johnston and her 17-year-old son, Kyle, go to the upscale Hideaway Resort on Lake Oleander to spend some family time before he leaves for university. Strangely, they receive some warnings from concerned individuals to stay away from Riapoke, a little town on the other side of the lake. Both mother and son are skeptical about the warnings, but heed them anyway, determine to enjoy their vacation. Unfortunately, they still find themselves unwillingly involved with the mystery of Riapoke when their harmless boat trip goes wrong.
Initially, Riapoke by Bryan S. Nowak seems like a mystery thriller that is less ambitious than other books that I’ve read in the genre. However, it delivers the needed suspense and tension at the right moment. Despite some familiarity with the premise and plot, I wasn’t expecting the supernatural element in the story, so that was a bit of a surprise. Nowak let some pieces of the puzzle fall into place right away, letting readers know early on about the important figures under the command of the mysterious one they called The Master. Controlling the town of Riapoke through fear, The Master seems unbeatable, even though an old prophecy foresees the threat to his reign with Meghan and Kyle’s arrival.
Every milestone in the plot had the right hook to keep me interested. The clean structure of the prose and the narrative style give the right tempo for the reading pace. Riapoke starts off unassumingly, but cleverly engaged me as the reader from beginning to the end. Overall, a good supernatural read from Nowak.