This is good for those who like crime with a bit of romance. The fact that the wrongly convicted man was a North American Indian did seem to have been thrown in as a side issue, just as a dressing really. There are a few typos which are a little annoying and occasional aspects of the story, I found irritating - I never understand why copies of evidence are not handed to the police or why someone who is obviously drugged doesn't cotton on. Still, worth reading.
This was a very engrossing story with a bit of everything in it. The mystery of who killed Desiree, if it wasn't our hero Kort, who was it? Why were people quick to accept that he was the killer? And why those who had doubts hadn't spoken they spoken out? Norma was there to welcome Kort home, but did she have an agenda? Why was the Police Chief, Butch, also Desiree's boyfriend, following Kort? There are so many questions at the start of this book and that's what keeps the reader going.
Little by little, the story starts to unfold and this is where the author cleverly draws in the readers. The town of Riddle is brought to life and I built up a picture of it as the characters moved between the diner, the hotel, Kort's mum's house and The Timbers, where Kort worked and grace lived. I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Kort and his mum, how it had changed and the back story to his relationship with his mum and deceased dad. It didn't turn out the way the reader would expect and I liked it for that.
Kort meets Grace, who is stuck in Riddle while her car is being fixed. Their relationship blossoms and with the mystery, there is a love story too. There are a lot of interesting minor characters which are fully formed and make the story come alive. There were also lots of twists and turns, which kept me glued to the page to find out what would happen next.
Engaging with the characters from the very first page, I couldn’t wait to read more and see how this story developed. ‘Riddle’ didn’t disappoint. In fact, in some ways it exceeded my expectations. The characters are realistically portrayed and believable, so much so I became quite attached to them. Also, the locations were sufficiently described for me to be there with them as the story is acted out. Just as all good books should do, it kept me interested right until the end even though I’d guessed early on how it would play out. Despite my accurate prediction, the author still managed a little surprise at the end making ‘Riddle’ an excellent read.
This novel was a well written and fast read. The main character Kort was very likable and easy to empathise with. I liked the plot and that it gave sufficient hints as to ‘who done it’ and the end certainly pleased this reader. The narrative voice and dialogue were good and the community life, although stereotypical, well depicted. I have no hesitation in recommending this book to those who love crime mixed with emotion.
Riddle is an incredible book and one that should not be missed. When I started reading, it seemed like a superb dramatic romance. But the more I was swallowed into the story, the more I was aware of an undercurrent of something else. Written with sweet charm, Riddle is a story that appears to be a chocolate pudding, but dig deeper and the maggots start to crawl out. Think David Lynch and then some. Mrs Newton has created a literary sleight of hand with stunning deftness. Startling graphic imagery is juxtaposed with cupcake, little town sensibilities. The fatherly owner of the diner, the tough but kind proprietor of the local Inn and the pragmatic but caring garage mechanic, give a light feeling to this story, but don't be fooled. There's the town's bad boy Kort just out of jail for a murder he says he didn't commit. Is he lying or just misunderstood? The town's split between supporters of Kort – those who believed him innocent of the heinous crime – and those who’d like to see him six foot under. Unfortunately, his mother falls into the latter team. And amongst it all a girl named Grace arrives. Her car's broken down, so she stays in Riddle until it's fixed. Who is she? Why is she running? Does she intend to stay? Questions circle in your mind as you read, and Mrs Newton’s writing holds you captivated with intrigue demanding you read further. Each page furnishes a further titbit of insight into the lives of those players on Riddle’s stage, but no conclusions are forthcoming until the final pages. Don’t try to second guess, just sit back and enjoy the thrilling journey Mrs Newton has crafted for you.
The characters in Riddle are deep and complex. Their intricacies and foibles give way to a multitude of enthralling considerations. However, what makes the book truly stand out is Mrs Newton’s ability to address such big themes as prejudice, revenge, obsession and pride in a way that forces a reappraisal of perspective. The distrust that naturally occurs when meeting those not conforming to a stereotype of our predetermined design, and the faith to find the strength to use our intelligence to observe and interpret instead of accepting and believing the judgement of others. Riddle is a book not to be missed and one that I highly recommend.
You know you have read a really great book when a month after reading it you are still missing the amazing characters and the intriguing town of Riddle. Kort, Grace and Norma will have you hooked from the beginning as life in Riddle begins to twist and turn with exhilarating speed. It's rare that I read a book twice, but I don't think I can avoid it with Riddle!