The Gates of Evangeline

By Hester Young

4 out of 5 stars

Charlotte “Charlie” Cates has suffered the most horrific thing in life, the death of her young son. As she lives in a fog trying to come to terms with life again, she starts to have dreams of young children. They are either dead or dying and they need her help. This isn’t some king of psychological problem because she lost her child, she discovers she has a gift. The dream she has of a little boy lying in a swamp leads her to a new job writing a book about a cold case from thirty years before. Three-year-old Gabriel Deveau goes missing from his family’s plantation home, Evangeline, and is never seen again. Are her dreams leading her to the killer?

This story has a wonderful cast of characters, all very Southern Gothic. Hettie, the matriarch, is dying and Charlie is told not to talk to her about the book. Her twin daughters can’t wait to get their hands on the estate. Andre, the closeted son, seems moody and quiet. The staff are all welcoming, most weren’t there thirty years ago.  I really enjoyed her relationship with Detective Minot. And then there’s Noah. Hettie has hired him to redo the grounds to their old splendor. As Charlie and Noah get closer, you begin to wonder just who he is exactly.

There are so many twists and turns. It’s one of those books that you just want to peek ahead to see exactly where it’s going or if you are on the right track to where it’s going. (Yes. Yes. I peeked ahead. Bad Mary. Bad! But I couldn’t help myself.) It started off a bit slow for me but definitely picked up and had me up until 1 last night racing to get to the conclusion. If you like a good mystery, this is for you and I highly recommend it. But it’s got a lot more going for it than just the mystery factor. There is romance, religion, loss, grief and ultimately finding joy in life.

I happily received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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