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The Secrets of Lake Road

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  1,166 ratings  ·  189 reviews
A haunting story about the destructive power of secrets, this accomplished and gripping suspenseful women's fiction debut is perfect for fans of Lisa Scottoline and Heather Gudenkauf

Jo has been hiding the truth about her role in her high school boyfriend’s drowning for sixteen years. Every summer, she drops her children off with her mother at the lakeside community where s
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Average rating 3.47  · 
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 ·  1,166 ratings  ·  189 reviews

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Judy D Collins
THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD, a complex, emotional, and haunting debut by Karen Katchur delves into the devastating secrets and lies of the past across generations— Family secrets sizzle at the core of a mystery for a suspense-filled gripping tale of a long-ago summer lake accident.

Jo is now a grown woman, always running from something—the past which torments her. As a mother of two, teen Johnny, and twelve-year-old, inquisitive Caroline, a husband, Kevin who travels, and a strained relationship
Minty McBunny
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, august-2015
I initially thought this book was promising, but as the story moved forward I found myself increasingly irritated with many of the jerky characters populating the pages, as well as the fact that almost every revelation was telegraphed and hinted at so blatantly that there were no surprises at all aside from the very unpleasant one regarding Sara*

(view spoiler)
Rachel  (APCB Reviews)
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fast-read
Initial Thoughts: I liked this one a lot more than I thought I would. Being familiar with the setting beforehand, I thought Katchur did a great job describing the feel and mentality of the Poconos. The characters were pretty bland, but this book possesses some charms and a mystery that'll keep you intrigued.

Read the full review @ A Perfection Called Books

The most important component of this story is the setting, Poconos Mountains in Pennsylvania. I've been there a few times, and as such I can s
While the ending was a bit hurried, The Secrets of Lake Road keeps its secrets held close, giving the reader a quick peek every now and then, but ultimately saving the full reveal for its final moments. There was one twist I guessed at that turned out to be correct (and at this point I'm not quite sure it was even supposed to be a big shocker) but several others had me gasping. Quick to pull you in and hard to put down, The Secrets of Lake Road is a thrilling read sure to delight and I'd highly ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Another summer, another tragic drowning, and a lot of awful memories.

After the tragedy of the drowning years ago, the beach community never expected another tragedy.

Jo and her family were the most affected by the tragedy that happened years ago, and that tragedy still haunted Jo. Will the awful memories ever go away, and will the real facts about the drowning perhaps be revealed?

The secrets of Lake Road were deep and haunting for those who had a secret. Ms. Katchur marvelously put together a sto
Yvonne (It's All About Books)
Finished reading: March 1st 2016
Rating 3qqq

“There was something about this place that brought out the best and worst in you, pushing you to extremes.”

(view spoiler)
May 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
I'm not sure that I liked this book. And I'll tell you why. First of all, I didn't like several of the primary characters, specifically Jo and Kevin. I found Jo to be cold and felt like she treated her family horribly. She was one dimensional. Kevin was almost an afterthought until 3/4 of the way through. Second, I had a problem with the drowning. The storyline never considered that Sara, the 7 year old who drowned, could have come to another end. Those things just completely turned me off. Ther ...more
Maureen DeLuca
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Don't go by my review- a friend of mine told me to pick this up , so I did....It had 'some good moments' ...... ...more
Emily Ross
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In this compelling and moving novel, the drowning of a young girl in a small lakeside resort community brings details of another drowning that happened years before to the surface. As the search for the body of the drowned girl unfolds, a search for secrets buried in the past also takes place. As a reader I was kept on the edge of my seat, anxious to find out how these two mysteries would connect. The story is told from the point of view of multiple richly developed characters, and we get little ...more
Nancy Brady
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: I received this books as a Goodreads First Read giveaway, but that in no way affected this review.

Secrets will out, or does the truth really set you free? That is the premise behind this novel that covers two generations of Lake Road summer residents. One generation has covered up and ignored the truth behind the drowning death of a teen; the other is just coming-of-age as another drowning brings the past to the forefront.

Jo has been hiding the truth about her role in the drowni
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked this story. The author did a great job all around. There are so many secrets from that summer long ago. I mean, you think you know what happened to Billy. But, nope you don't really. There are several twists involved. And I really liked the main character, Caroline, a lot. She's a young girl using her head on her shoulders.

I was thoroughly entertained by this one. I couldn't read it fast enough. And it's a great book to read in the summer as it takes place at a summer camp with a
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Ok-to be honest I skipped several chapters in the middle (I had to or I would've quit or given it the 1 star, do not like rating)I did not miss much, I was able to still figure out stuff. I just didn't care for Jo, didn't like her or have any empathy for what her secrets were. And of course I think it was just too tidy of an ending. In the end I am more disappointed because I thought it was more of a suspense/mystery type book but its women's fiction. I did think she got the Pocono mountains fee ...more
Kate Moretti
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the most atmospheric books I've ever read. Karen Katchur does a great job with setting, it's both eerie and heartbreaking. The characters are real and honest and the plot held surprising twists and turns. There are five (?) points of view! Never once did it wander and every thing tied together nicely (but not perfectly, which is a great thing) at the end.

I read this book in 2 days flat! Highly recommend!
Sherilyn Young
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The best find in my local library this year. I truly could not put this one down. If you enjoy a good mystery. I highly recommend this book :)
Anne Martin
Jun 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I expected something with more bite, more lust for life than this gloomy story, centered about drownings. The author managed to describe the switch from childhood to teenage in Caroline with finesse, and showed well how it touches many aspects of her life, from physical changes, of course, to a certain loss of confidence in adult wisdom -they all end up lying, accompanied with a dose of self preservative anger and some irony the new distance makes possible. But generally speaking, the book is al ...more
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Karen Katchur has a knack with suspense novels. Her characters are multi-dimensional and real and are faced with life issues we can probably all identify with at one time or another. I can't wait to begin another one of her books! ...more
Sydney Williams
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Easy read but a little too typical. All the theories I had from the beginning of the book turned out to be true which was a little disappointing. Would've loved a twist. ...more
Ashley Farley
Jul 22, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars for me.

Jo has a secret that has kept her emotions hostage for sixteen years. When seven-year-old Sara goes missing, presumably drowned, the hidden details involving the death of Jo’s high school boyfriend, Billy, surface, threatening everything Jo holds dear.

Jo’s daughter, Caroline, is on the cusp of adolescence, torn between fishing and playing baseball with her younger friends, activities she’s always enjoyed, and hanging out with Megan, whose newfound interests include nail polish,
Elizabeth  (Thoughts From an Evil Overlord)
This story of two tragic deaths is primarily told through the eyes of Jo, a thirty-two-year-old mother, and her twelve-year-old daughter Caroline. Jo is awkward with her children and struggles with feeling inadequate as a parent and wife but doesn't know how to improve the situation. Jo is a difficult character to like, yet I still felt for her struggles and understood how the situation developed.

Karen Katchur does an excellent job of slowly revealing just what happened sixteen years ago as Jo m
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
What happens at the lake stays at the lake...except this summer. Twelve-year-old Caroline can't wait to spend time swimming and fishing, hanging out with her best friends, and daydreaming about her brother's cute pal, Chris. But when a young child goes missing and presumably drowns, a melancholy haze settles over the season's visitors.

With the search teams meticulously combing the murky depths for the missing girl, the only thing that surfaces are old memories. For Caroline's mother and father,
Aug 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2015, net-galley, n
What secrets are going to be revealed over the course of The Secrets of Lake Road?
Jo’s childhood boyfriend drowned at the lake and she hasn’t felt able to return. What happened that evening? She drops her children off with her mum, every summer but can’t stay herself. Her daughter can’t understand why she doesn’t share her love for the lake. She wants to grow closer to her mum as she’s going through this particular period of her childhood. But their relationship is a difficult one.
A little girl
Elizabeth Havey
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Karen creates an entire community of people who either live year round or spend their summers at the lake. She crafts a vivid summer environment as the story evolves and characters move through the landscape hoping to discover the body of someone who has drowned, but at the same time finding this search a catalyst for searching inside themselves. Complicated relationships are presented, but then they boil over delving deeper into personal backgrounds--each character revealing a lifetime of burie ...more
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the author for the copy of this book in exchange for a review. I really enjoyed this debut book. It is a nicely crafted mystery which I liked and the author did a great job of evoking the summer time feel of a laid back lake community. The characters were completely believable, like someone I knew. The book is told from multiple viewpoints and present and past tense. I particularly liked the scene where Kevin is playing guitar at the upstairs bar. Ms. Katchur reveals just enough of ...more
Catherine Fagan
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I really enjoyed this book. It's set in the pocono lakes during the summer. I loved reading about this setting. It sounded so beautiful, and eerie, and provided the perfect backdrop for the eerie atmosphere this book created. I felt the only well developed character was Caroline, but I loved her feistiness combined with her vulnerability. Her mother, Jo, was not likeable. Other characters I felt were pretty one-dimensional. The book had a great mystery at its heart, which kept me interested the ...more
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was ok

Katchur's story tells of a small town of whose lake tempts summer visitors to rent cabins, fish, swim and enjoy the freedom of life away from the constraints of home. However, the lake's temptation also included a number of drownings over the years. And this summer, the loss of a seven-year-old changes the odd relationship of Caroline and her troubling secret.

While the plot and characters were of interest, overall I tired of how slowly the story moved toward its conclusion. Because I had guessed
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book through Goodreads' First Reads program. The search for the body of a young girl who has drowned in the present day uncovers new evidence in the mysterious drowning of a teenage boy 16 years ago. At its core, this is not a suspense or mystery, but a coming of age story, made a bit more interesting by the discovery of long buried family secrets. I thought the author did a very good job alternating the past and present and the voices of the different characters. ...more
Jun 29, 2015 rated it liked it
This book promised to be a wonderful story written from the viewpoint of multiple characters with a mystery surrounding a lake community. Unfortunately, for me, the story and characters failed to come alive and left me feeling blue - so much of the story is centered on drowning and the secrets and the unhappiness of the characters. There doesn't seem to be much resolution upon finishing the book either. A good read, but a little flat, in my opinion. ...more
Mindy Mejia
If you've never been to the Poconos, The Secrets of Lake Road brings that world to you. Two drownings bookend this story about a lake community that is simultaneously torn apart and bound by tragedy. I loved the different points of view from each narrator and found myself drawn to Caroline's story, the twelve-year-old looking for answers on her own terms. The setting and tone are pitch perfect, and I had to create a new shelf just to capture the Best Romantic Text Ending I've ever read. ...more
Marianne K
Oct 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
I just did not like this slow moving predictable book. I was so tired of the characters and especially the setting by the end. The switching points of view were distracting. I think sticking with the preteen daughter, Caroline, would have made a better book.
Cait S
Apr 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF at uh...2 chapters in. Perfect for fans of Heather Gudenkauf, you say?

You sit on a throne of lies.

It might be the same genre but the writing ability doesn't even touch it. Awkward, stilted, and just oddly phrased at every turn.
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Karen Katchur is an award-winning suspense novelist with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a master's degree in Education. She lives in Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. ...more

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