Horatio’s Promise is a historical mystery with an omniscient narrator that hints at the mysteries to come from the first pages. The author does well to introduce you to the town of Horatio’s Promise and describe the quirks of the townsfolk. I didn’t find Alfred Spellmen particularly likeable to begin with, seeming either perhaps a little self-absorbed and entitled or naive in regards to his relationship with Leonora, his landlady. As the story progresses we see that he is a flawed character that I grew to appreciate a little bit more.
In his eagerness to get everything back to how it was the last summer he’d spent in Horatio’s Promise, Alfred tries to discover what happens to his landlady’s husband. This mystery combined with a polio epidemic affecting a number of his music students, puts Alfred in greater danger, and his survival is under threat.
This book handles a mystery while also covering the effect of loss on a community. There’s suspicion, plot twists and enigma that I think would be of interest to anyone who likes a classic-feeling mystery.
It’s the summer of 1950. Having sacrificed his much-beloved summer job the year before to stay with his dying brother, Alfred Spellman desperately wants life this summer to get back to normal. On break from being a big-city high school janitor, he has traveled to the idyllic town of Horatio’s Promise, his summer home-away-from-home where he has taught music to the town’s children for the past twenty years.
However, his dream of a carefree summer is unknowingly threatened when he accepts the seemingly innocent task of finding out what happened to his landlady’s husband back in 1935. Things are further complicated by a polio epidemic targeting many of Alfred’s students, causing his beloved community to come apart at the seams. He soon realizes this summer will be nothing like normal, but instead his greatest challenge, his very survival in question as he plumbs the darker side of himself and a town he’d once thought perfect.
A lifelong die-hard mystery enthusiast, D. Clark Gill counts the classics such as Ross McDonald, G. K. Chesterton, Isaac Asimov, and Harry Kemelman among personal favorites. Gill’s own previous titles include So Special in Dayville and Madness Between Light and Dark.
|Publication date:||21st December 2020|
|Author:||D. Clark Gill|
|Primary Genre||Indie Author Books|