A New England Society Book Awards Finalist (Fiction)
“A witty, suspenseful tale of murder, marital conflict and agonizing secrets.... The exuberant story is transporting and delicious, a worthy summer read.” —People
The Last Summer of the Camperdowns, from the best-selling author of Apologize, Apologize!, introduces Riddle James Camperdown, the twelve-year-old daughter of the idealistic Camp and his manicured, razor-sharp wife, Greer. It’s 1972, and Riddle’s father is running for office from the family compound in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Between Camp’s desire to toughen her up and Greer’s demand for glamour, Riddle has her hands full juggling her eccentric parents. When she accidentally witnesses a crime close to home, her confusion and fear keep her silent. As the summer unfolds, the consequences of her silence multiply. Another mysterious and powerful family, the Devlins, slowly emerges as the keepers of astonishing secrets that could shatter the Camperdowns. As an old love triangle, bitter war wounds, and the struggle for status spiral out of control, Riddle can only watch, hoping for the courage to reveal the truth. The Last Summer of the Camperdowns is poised to become the summer’s uproarious and dramatic must-read.
Kelly's raucous, deliciously creepy novel about the dysfunction of the ber wealthy begins in 1972 as the hoity-toity Camperdown clan prepare for another summer of horseback riding, fox hunting, and hors d'oeuvres in their cushy Cape Cod enclave. Godfrey "Camp" Camperdown, running for a seat in Congress, hobnobs away while his ex-movie-star ice-queen wife Greer the brawn and beauty behind the campaign entertains the guests and their 12-year-old daughter Riddle James (named after Jimmy Hoffa), who narrates as an adult. The novel threatens to veer too predictably into Great Gatsby territory (long-buried secrets bubbling to the surface, a sticky love triangle, a sniveling neighbor's single-minded obsession with breeding gypsy horses) but is saved by precocious Riddle's dry-witted narration of events, at least until she witnesses a heinous murder and clams up. While what actually happened the night of the crime is made plain early on, Kelly (Apologize, Apologize!) builds suspense by withholding the perpetrator's motivations and the characters' knowledge of who did it until the end. When the truth finally emerges amid a whirlwind of flying accusations and shattered lives in a climax that's a touch too hurried compared to the book's languid pace no one, not even the creepy killer, escapes unscathed. And everyone, at least in part, is to blame.
Just an opinion
I really enjoyed this book. Interesting dynamic characters. Sometimes I wished for it to move a little faster. Also, it's frustrating to see the heroine not really do anything about her situation. Overall it was a good read.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It is very well written, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Very dynamic characters, and a plot twist you won't see coming! A good book should make you feel just as much as think, and it does just that.
A can't-put-down book! This book is all about the characters, and the author does a great job building them.