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In the Shadow of Lakecrest

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  8,302 ratings  ·  546 reviews
The year is 1928. Kate Moore is looking for a way out of the poverty and violence of her childhood. When a chance encounter on a transatlantic ocean liner brings her face-to-face with the handsome heir to a Chicago fortune, she thinks she may have found her escape—as long as she can keep her past concealed.

After exchanging wedding vows, Kate quickly discovers that somethin
Paperback, 282 pages
Published February 1st 2017 by Lake Union Publishing
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
A dark, gothic story full of mystery and lies.

Kate finds her perfect husband and moves into his large family estate. Everything should be perfect, but it isn't...

I loved how the house took on a life of its own, and almost felt like another character in the story. Lakecrest and the structures surrounding it are full of history, some of it quite mysterious.

I enjoyed the twists in this book, as well as the reveal. I never knew who I could trust. I give this books 3.5 stars, rounded down because t
Vanessa Ward
Jan 12, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a Kindle First pick for me for Jan 2017.

This book held my interest throughout, but I was hoping for more.

-I didn't really connect with any of the characters.
-Despite the shocking nature of some of the events, I found myself underwhelmed because there was too much build up to plot points that I had already guessed.
-The main character seemed childish and overly paranoid.
-Then, after all the build-up and suspense, when we finally get the real story of what happened at Lakecr
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-arcs
All of my reviews can be found on

Historical fiction is not usually one of my go to genres, but when this beauty showed up in my mailbox I was immediately interested. Besides the gorgeous cover, (really it’s stunning, more so in person) the blurb gave me pause. I’ve always been taken in by the 1920’s, things seem so glamorous and chic, but throw in a crumbling family mansion hiding old secrets and I’m in!

Twisted characters never cease to appeal to me, but when there is an ent
[Shai] Bibliophage
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I'll admit that I'm still not yet finish reading this novel. I'm still contemplating whether to continue reading this some other time or just to stop altogether. I like the story, albeit I find some characters quite annoying. Lastly, that Matthew and Kate's whirlwind romance is not really romantic for me. Perhaps I could still read this someday; just not for now. ...more
Ange H
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book wanted so badly to be the next "Rebecca" that it all but plagiarized the first line:

Rebecca: Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
ItSoL: Last night, I dreamed Lakecrest was on fire.

Instead of Max de Winter, we have Matthew Lemont who is on a cruise when he meets Kate, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She pulls a Yoko Ono and pretends she doesn't know he's a wealthy bachelor. He falls for it, they get married, and off they go to live in his imposing mansion. Like Mande
Aleksej Wilczek
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was ok

Old mansions inspire sordid love affairs. (ques Crimson Peak music) But they don't. Just kidding.

In the Shadow of Lakecrest wants to be memorable, another staple to gothic storytelling like its predecessor and inspiration: Flowers in The Attic. It might have been, it had the potential to be, but it fell short. Instead, In the Shadow of Lakecrest plodded its way through a bizarre and heavily recycled plot, information dumped you 90% of the way through, and then ended with what I presume was suppo
Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I received this book for free from my Kindle First subscription. It sounded like an interesting premise compared to the other books I could select from, so I went with it.
I have to say that even though there were some things in it that I don't necessarily agree with, the story itself was quite good! I enjoyed the suspense of Kate trying to solve the mystery of Cecily's disappearance (I'm always up for mystery!). I also enjoyed the historical setting (Chicago before the Great Depression).
The reas
”Lakecrest was dying, and I was content to see it burn.”

Plot: Everyone: Kate, this is a really bad idea. Everything about this dude seems shady.
Kate: I don’t care. It’s fine.
Everyone: Kate, the house is falling apart and there are rooms you can’t go into. You know how it goes when people have rooms in houses you can’t enter.
Kate: No, really guys, it’s fine.
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mystery, secrets and paranoia with a gothic kind of story. The story moves along a decent pace with a few twists and a particularly satisfying ending.

**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**
The best way for me to describe In the Shadow of Lakecrest is to say that it is like Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Du Maurier's Rebecca had a literary lovechild (so of course, this was absolutely my kind of book). I especially felt that the opening of the novel was very paralell to Rebecca, as it opened with the narrator dreaming of Lakecrest, (the dark and dreary estate of this tale) much like that famous opening line about dreaming of Manderly.

In the Shadow of Lakecrest was much like any
Camille Maio
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I read in one day, and not on a day where I really had the time to spare for it. But I just loved it and couldn't wait to find out what happened. Full of intrigue, mystery, and romance, it reminded me of one of my favorite classics - Rebecca. Don't miss this one! ...more
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Eh. I forced myself to finish this one because I wanted to see what happened to the aunt. The problem with this book is that there was not one likeable character in it. Kate is a gold-digger who won't stand up for herself, her husband is a weak minded mama's boy, and the mother-in-law is like that horrible neighbor from Rosemary's baby. By the time the end of the book came around, I was secretly hoping that someone would die, and I didn't care who. Kate, the mother-in-law, me....someone just nee ...more
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down.. there won't be much of a review but let me just say WOW well done Kate! Great ending. I was starting to wonder when she would get her spine but definitely didn't see that ending coming.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I would like to thank NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing, and Elizabeth Blackwell for the advanced digital copy. As a child, Kate Moore endured a life of poverty, hardship, and violence. Years later, in 1928, she decides to board a transatlantic ocean liner, in hopes for a new life. She meets Matthew Lamont, who happens to be the heir to his family's Chicago medical company, and soon Kate and Matthew marry. While dealing with the demons of Matthew's past, Kate must also tolerate his cold hearted m ...more
Marguerite Kaye
Jan 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I like the premise of this story, and I loved the era in which it was set. I liked that the heroine was slightly dodgy biscuits morality-wise, and I liked the slightly Rosemary's Baby atmosphere. But this was one of those books where there was loads of good stuff which I felt wasn't made enough of, and ultimately kind of faded away rather than reached a climax. The parallels with Rebecca are pretty clear, but sadly the reality of this was a bit of a shadow compared to Du Maurier's classic. Overa ...more
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Thank god I did not pay for this...
Renee Ross
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of gothic romance or romantic suspense
Recommended to Renee by: No one - discovered on Amazon
A beautifully-written, masterfully-told, good-old-fashioned Gothic romance. What's not to love? ...more
Sarah Mac
Overall, a mixed bag.

The good: I'm partial to OTT uber-gothic stories about twisted family dynamics, & the Roaring Twenties era in this one was so different from the usual Victorian period. I also really liked the background of the current issues -- i.e., the studying of madness, Greek myth, incest, & 'hysteria' that was often foisted upon sensitive, moody women in the 19th-c.

That said...the REBECCA & VC Andrews influences are too obvious, & the characters are wildly inconsistent as they jump
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I feel like I'm being generous with this's really a 3.5 for me. I can't stand mama's boys ...more
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A mix between Du Maurier's Rebecca and St. James' Silence for the Dead. A good story with rich characters. ...more
Melissa Levine
May 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This was another ebook that I had downloaded about four years ago from Amazon that had been sitting and waiting for me to read. While there was a lot of skimming going on throughout the story, and I didn't really like the two main characters, I did find the story interesting overall.


I wasn't a fan of Matthew. His mother had him wrapped around her finger way too tightly. The fact that he was constantly referring to her for basically everything really annoyed me. Him thinking Kate would
I picked this book as my first Kindle choice book of the month, and I am glad I did. Kate Moore, who was traveling as a nanny/ foreign language teacher, with two children, their father, and their grandmother on a ship, heading back to the states. The girls would be sent to finishing schools, and her job would be at an end. Thinking of all she had survived growing up, and the desire for better things in the future, had her lost in thought as she leaned over the railing of the ship, trying to spot ...more
Ashley Gillan
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
The ominous beginning and creepy setting sets up this book for a suspensful, atmospheric read. The family secrets and plot even pulled me in until about 3/4 of the way through, when I realized there were distracting elements that prohibited this book from being what it could be, which is a dark, gritty story.

With the twists and secrets revealed in lackluster ways and a cringe-worthy look at mental illness, particularly women with real mental illnesses or doctor-prescribed "hysteria", this stor
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Beautifully written, an oppressive, dark and psychologically thrilling tale. I was instantly transported to another place and time. The author is gifted with the narrative, it truly takes the reader on a journey.

A must read for anyone, whether historical thrillers be your chosen genre, or you feel like trying something different. I would highly recommend this gripping and atmospheric novel.

I hope Elizabeth Blackwell decides to turn this into a series. The wonderful! twist and "cliffhan
Tina Hardesty
Jan 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

This book left me with a pit in my stomach. Not a single character in this story has a redeeming virtue. Not one of them does any honorable thing. It is a story about mental illness and incest, murder, greed and power. You would think the main character, Kate, would rise above the fray, but instead she turns into a horrible human being, just like the rest. Worse, in my opinion. Unless you want to be left with a feeling of hopelessness about the human condition, don't read this book.
Jen Lanam
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, suspenseful with a satisfying ending (to me).

I liked the main character more than I would have thought, based on her past and motivations. I'd rate it PG to PG-13 for sex and violence, but I don't think there was any bad language. Yes, it was a gothic take, but not depressing like some of those (like Wuthering Heights). Is recommend it for adults.
I enjoyed much of the writing and was caught away in most of the claustrophobic story. I just didn't understand the unnecessary ending. I'll agree with another reviewer that some of the answers came too quickly in giant slabs of somewhat convenient revelation, but it didn't ruin it for me. This was no "Rebecca" but it was a mostly enjoyable read. ...more
Michelle Loves Books
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again..." This book is reminiscent of one of my favorite books-Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier. A large sprawling mansion, an insecure wife, a mess with the mind psychotic protagonist, suspense, mystery, and plot twists. What better way to spend a few hours? ...more
Diane Conlinn

Well I thought this might be a nice period piece. But it bored me and I skipped through the book. The ending which was supposed to be shocking just conformed my opinion.
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As the daughter of a U.S. Foreign Service officer, Elizabeth Blackwell grew up in Washington, D.C., interspersed with stints in Africa, the Middle East and Europe--pretty much always with a book in hand. She majored in history at Northwestern University (hooray! more reading!) and received her master's in journalism from Columbia University, which led to a career as an editor and writer for a numb ...more

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“scared me. Before I learned what it really means to live with ghosts. Had the dream expressed an unconscious wish? I thought Lakecrest and I had come to a truce, that my feelings had dulled with time. Maybe I still hated it—more than I’d ever admit. I made my way slowly down the hall, avoiding the squeakiest floorboards. I peeked into Stella’s room, which was dimly illuminated by a night-light in the shape of a twirling ballerina. My daughter” 0 likes
“Whatever such rites entailed, the madness of Dionysus was widely accepted as a religious practice. Indeed, it was one of the few ways women were able to obtain a measure of freedom in an otherwise limited public sphere.   Was” 0 likes
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