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Redemption Lake

(A Winston Radhauser Mystery #1)

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Tucson, Arizona – Eighteen-year-old Matt Garrison is harboring two terrible secrets: his involvement in the drowning death of his 12-year-old cousin, and a night of drunken sex with his best friend’s mother, Crystal, whom he finds dead in a bathtub of blood. Guilt forces Matt to act on impulse and hide his involvement with Crystal.

Detective Winston Radhauser knows Matt is
Published May 17th 2017 by Tirgearr Publishing
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4.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  156 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm not a big fan of mystery/thrillers, but this book held my attention from the first page to the last. This novel had several twists and turns throughout. The reader could really feel the anguish and torment the main character was experiencing. Also, the author used such descriptive language for the setting of Tuscon and the Arizona desert that one could really visualize the colors and plants. I recommend this book for an easy and fast read. I also liked Clayton-Goldner's last book, A Bend in ...more
Linda Rainey
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I finished Redemption Lake with tears flowing with the depiction of the desert southwest leaving me homesick.
Heart-wrenching suspense grabs at your throat and propels you through this book at a breakneck pace.
Vivid prose and characters paint a picture of the life of a teenager in stress.
Wow, what an ending, totally unexpected.
I give this book 5 stars and wish it could be more.
Ruth Horner
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this book by Susan Clayton-Goldner. She is an excellent writer of mysteries, keeps you reading past time. Enjoyed this one as much as A Bend in the Willow. Not too technical but does enough research to make it interesting until the last word. Susan sent me this book free for my honest opinion and review.
Joan R. Craven
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED THIS BOOK!!! I thought A Bend in the Willow was really good, but Susan Clayton- Goldner hit this one out of the ballpark!!! Susan's writing does not waste a single paragraph with filler sentences. She keeps her stories moving and interesting! This book never slowed down for one minute. Unfortunately, I have lost several hours of sleep this week. I found myself getting back up after going to bed because I wanted to know what was happening next! I finished the book this afternoo ...more
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book. Redemption lake is a couple of grades above Susan's previous book, I think that her writing skills are improving by leaps and bounds.
This book hooked me in within the first couple of pages and the "who dun it" story just kept me turning those pages (Well, swiping my e Reader anyway).
The main character is an engaging personality and "Seeing" inside his head as the story unfolded was fascinating.
I found myself all over the yard with this one. One minute rooting
Barbara Warren
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Matthew Garrison woke in his best friend's mother's bed after she refused to let him drive home drunk. He rushes to the bathroom to find a puddle of blood on the floor. Crystal, Travis' mother, is lying in the tub full of bloody water. Blood still oozes from the gash in her neck. Matthew's father is arrested for committing the murder, but is he guilty, or did he confess to protect Matthew? Redemption Lake is a fast paced story full of conflict and emotion. The characters are so real, so dramatic ...more
Louise Pledge
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First, let me start off by saying how excellent the writing was. As the wife, daughter and granddaughter of writers (and a national winner, myself), I tend to be pretty critical. So it does say something that I was very impressed! Then there was the great plot: I started reading last night, intending just to get a good feel for it, but couldn't put it down until I was finished! It isn't often enough that I read a book that envelops me like this one did. Besides the sometimes emotional story that ...more
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Matt and Travis have been best friends for years. Crystal was like a second mother to Matt. Radhauser is a very special person. He has suffered with the loss of his family. When he starts working Crystal's case it brings back memory's. The characters in this book are all very special people. This book is hard to stop reading. The author will have you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next. This book deserves a higher rating than a five star review. I had the honor to review th ...more
Randy Troyer
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am quite a fan of a good mystery. Whether it be Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with a candlestick or Sherlock Holmes proclaiming "Elementary, my dear Watson" I am always wondering "whodunnit"? Having the good luck to be born at the advent of television I grew up with Perry Mason, Columbo, and Quincy. Heck, even my favorite episodes of M*A*S*H include "The Rooster Crowed at Midnight" and Hawkeye putting forth his rendition of Hercule Poirot, Holmes, and Inspector Clouseau in catching the camp t ...more
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's 1989, and Matt Garrison is getting ready to graduate high school and leave for college like any other 18-year-old. Except that he isn't your typical 18-year-old: he's still haunted six years later by the drowning death of his cousin. And then one night he finds himself in the bed of his best friend's mother Crystal, and then a couple hours later finds her dead body in the bathtub. Was it suicide because of what she'd done with him? Or was she murdered by someone close to both of them?

John Karam
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

First I want to say that the author provided me with a review copy. I don't know her. She found a review of mine on Amazon and asked me to do a review of her last novel. I guess she liked the review I did so she asked me to review this one as well.

I do enjoy a good mystery! This has it all. The character who is caught up in the events and struggles with what to do. Another who makes choices in order to protect someone else. And a series of suspects that come and go, depending on the quality of t

Kathy Elliott
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I believe this author could write anything. Mysteries have always intrigued me and Redemption Lake (RL)did not disappoint. The reader cannot help feeling good while reading and feels almost "healed" of any life issues by the end of the story. I had no idea where the story was going, i.e. I could not have guessed the outcome, which to me is the epitome of writing a good mystery. I cannot wait for S C-G's next release. Sadly, her books are so compelling that I cannot put them down and the exciteme ...more
Arlene Ross
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was given a free ebook copy of this book for an honest review. Wow, what a great book. I could not put it down as the characters were well developed and the plot was strong and full of twists and turns. There are also many emotions revealed in the story which were so well described, I could feel Matt being so sad and so confused at times. This is the second book I have reviewed for Susan and both were excelent, she is truly a gifted writer and I highly recommend this novel for your reading ple ...more
Sue Bailey
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This was a very good book! I love good mysteries and this is definitely at the top of my list. It remained a mystery to me until the very end as to “whodunit”.
I enjoyed getting to “know” Matt and how he saw things from his perspective. But every few chapters, I liked that the author brought in another characters point of view.
I am looking forward to Book 2 in this series.
Lj Bousquet
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Goldner again shows us her ever-expanding repertoire, this time with a page-turning mystery. Redemption Lake has the necessary conflicts and twists to keep a reader engaged and delivers the surprise in its conclusion. Goldner also introduces Detective Radhauser, a cop with a tragic past. Perhaps a series in his future? I'd like to see more of him. Young men should easily relate to the protagonist, Matt.
Skye Andrews
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
don't you hate it when you are halfway through a book and know who the killer is before it is revealed? This is not one of those books, It kept me in suspense the whole way through.
I would like to hope Matt takes up a career as a detective in a future story.
a must for any TBR list
M.K. Williams
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a great mystery. There were several twists and turns; at one point I thought that I knew for sure who committed the crime only to realize in the next chapter that I had the case all wrong. This was a great story and the way that the clues were revealed were perfect. Well done!
Linda Willer
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced readers copy of this book directly from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! I understand this will be the first book in a trilogy and I am looking forward to the next book. I suspect that after the third book is finished, we, the fans, will be asking for more; will not be happy with only three books. Detective/suspense/thrillers are my genre. The characters are well developed over the whole book; meaning that you do not find out about the characters' pa ...more
Nerdy Dirty & Flirty
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some things are better left in the dark but what happens when your past comes back to face you full on and there is nowhere to hide and you must face it. There is nothing Matt would love more than for his past to stay in the past but an old ghost has a way of coming back and he is about to learn that sometimes it's better to face them head on especially when there is nowhere else to go. This was a very well written story you could tell the author put a lot of time and emotions in thi
Jay Williams
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Gut-Wrenching Story

This book mixes a police procedural with a coming of age story as tormented young man deals with the fallout of finding his best friend 's mother dead after drinking and making out with her. The murder is hard to solve, and many relationships are called into question as the investigation progresses. Lots of emotion and a great cast of realistic characters.
Hazel Young
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A cleverly crafted murder mystery, exploring the emotions of a young Matt Garrison and the intricacies of his relationships, against a background of tragedy. Given their suspicions of each other, the changing relationship of Matt with his father is particularly well expressed.

Descriptive passages lend color to the story, enabling the reader to envisage the desert where it is set.

Matt's character is thoughtfully developed throug
Rosie Amber
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: murder-mystery
Redemption Lake is a murder mystery. The book opens in 1989, and is set in Tucson, Arizona.

Eighteen year old Matt Garrison is a troubled teenager. Holding guilt from six years ago when he blamed himself for the death of his cousin, he’s since faced the break-up of his parent’s marriage and, when the novel begins, hearing his mother make new long-lasting wedding vows. Telling himself and everyone else that “forever” didn’t mean a thing, he dramatically leaves the wedding.

Matt seeks out his girlfr
Joseph Sias
A real page turner.

I love the way Susan Clayton Goldner writes. It is so easy to picture each character and location in your mind. This book kept my attention all the way through. So sad when I finished it, I wanted it to last forever.
Helen Hogan
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
REDEMPTION LAKE by Susan Clayton-Goldner

Review by Helen M. Hogan

To classify Susan Clayton-Goldner’s Redemption Lake as a murder mystery slights its depth of character development and its wealth of description of the Arizona desert’s plants, mysterious sounds, and spooky air currents. Perhaps the classical term bildungsroman fits best as viewpoint charaxcter Matt Garrison at eighteen faces grown up problems making a boy’s mistakes.
He bears a mysterious burden of guilt, acts out his anger over h
Lora Shouse
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Matthew Garrison has been having a really bad day. His mom got remarried. He blurted out something in the middle of the ceremony that caused her to slap him and tell him to get out. His girlfriend broke up with him, and when he went to her house to talk to her, he found her with a football player from another school. He went to his best friend’s house to talk to him, only to be reminded he was at a school dance with his hyper-religious girlfriend.

He wound up telling his troubles to his friend’s
Cathy Geha
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dark and twisted story of friendship, family, betrayal, loss and murder while also being a coming of age story for Matt and perhaps his friend Travis this is also a debut detective series that will star Winston “Wind Radhauser, if I can go from what I read in the title.

Just about everyone in this book seems to have suffered loss and/or betrayal of some sort-I won’t list them but they are legion and impact the characters and the story in more ways than one.

The main character, Matt Garrison, see
Colleen Parkinson
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This murder mystery is full of twists and turns, and keeps the reader guessing until the very end.
There is strong character development throughout; even the minor characters are memorable, and this is due to author Susan Clayton-Goldner’s subtle use of speech patterns and phrasing in dialogue, descriptiveness of each character’s unconscious mannerisms, habits, etc. It is so refreshing to come to know and remember each character through this style of introduction.
All carry their own burden of an
Denise Lorenz
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A young boy's innocent teasing of his cousin goes horribly wrong, setting the stage for the boy to deal with the guilt his entire life. As an adolescent the boy is involved with another horrible incident which throws his fractured family into turmoil once again. The author links these incidents together in the boy's dealing with them and how they have shaped his psyche. The story unfolds with suspense and good character development and is definitely a page-turner. You want the best for the coupl ...more
Sandra Stiles
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, mystery
I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
This is an awesome book. The main character is Matt, and 18-year-old boy who finds himself in a serious situation. While his best friend Travis is at a dance he goes to talk with Travis’s mother and ends up drunk. When he awakes in her bed he gets up only to find her dead in the bathtub. Matt’s father is arrested for the murder. Detective Radhauser is not satisfied that he has the right man. Things just don’t add u
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I voluntarily read and reviewed Redemption Lake by Susan Clayton-Goldner. Matt ends up in an extremely bad situation when he wakes up after sleeping some beer off at his friend's house and finds his best friend's mother, Crystal, dead in her bathtub with a slit throat. Matt worries about the consequences of every one of his actions and how those actions affect the people around him. The mystery surrounding Crystal's death causes turmoil within the community. The suspect becomes difficult to narr ...more
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Susan Clayton-Goldner was born in New Castle, Delaware and grew up with four brothers along the banks of the Delaware River. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona's Creative Writing Program and has been writing most of her life. Her novels have been finalists for The Hemingway Award, the Heeken Foundation Fellowship, the Writers Foundation and the Publishing On-line Contest. Susan won the ...more

Other books in the series

A Winston Radhauser Mystery (5 books)
  • When Time Is a River (A Winston Radhauser Mystery: #2)
  • River of Shame (A Winston Radhauser Mystery: #4)
  • A River of Silence (A Winston Radhauser Mystery: #3)
  • Lake of the Dead (A Winston Radhauser Mystery: #5)