Return to Mateguas Island (Mateguas Island #2)


GOTHIC:  Ten years after the death of her husband, Karen reluctantly goes back to Maine with her new husband, Dex, and her 18 year-old twins, Sophie and Terri. Having grown up there, Dex only left for California because of Karen and he’s excited to see friends and fish in his home waters. Sophie and Terri were only 8 when their dad died, and they never believed the story their mom told them about his death being a suicide. Karen has kept secrets from them, but so has Dex, and neither has a clue how deep the secrets run and how damaging they are.


More of a mystery than a suspense, the story unfolds with well-laid plans collapsing around everyone. Indeed, the twins are really the only innocents in the entire twisted tale. The alternating points of view do not distract from the journey that Karen started her family on, but tuck nicely into each other to create a cohesive narrative. Ms. Watkins does an admirable job of letting readers know relevant information from the first book without dumping, but by the end, it still seems as if there are missing pieces…as if readers should know more, but don’t. Dex’s words and actions don’t match, making him an irritating character. The use of lore and characters from Native American tribes is rendered beautifully, with the honor and respect so often overlooked in contemporary books. Though it’s the second in a trilogy, this tale has a satisfying beginning, middle, and end—a journey readers won’t soon forget and one they will want to continue until all their questions are answered.


Julie York