Catherine Winslow, taking a walk during an early spring thaw, discovers the body of a woman leaning against an apple tree near her house in the Upper Valley of Vermont. From the corpse’s pink parka, Winslow recognizes it as the latest victim of a serial killer, a woman reported missing weeks before during a January blizzard. Once a major reporter for a national newspaper, now a household hints columnist, Catherine is disturbed and galvanized by her discovery and with the help of her neighbor, a forensic psychiatrist, as well as a local detective, starts to research the River Valley murders.
At the same time, her younger lover from an excruciating, failed love affair resurfaces after two years, trying to maneuver his way back into her affections. As she delves into the murders, she realizes that certain friends and acquaintances may actually be suspects or even worse.
This novel was not what I was expecting it to be. It was better. I thought it would be "just another" crime novel (not that I don't love those): bodies are found, killers are wanted, people start suspecting each other,... But Cloudland really takes you on a journey, one with Catherine, rather than the murders, at its center. She started off as a mysterious person. I loved getting to know her, her friends and family and her past with each new page.
I do have to admit that I got a little impatient at times when the murder investigation almost completely disappeared into the background and the sole focus was Catherine. Joseph Olshan taught me I should be more patient, because the book was better because of Catherine's story.
It took me a while before I had a solid idea about who the killer was. Like Catherine, I suspected almost everyone at least once (woops) and had about a dozen theories. Very exciting and surprising until the very last page. Highly recommended read!
Many thanks to Karen & Arcadia Books
for giving me the opportunity to read and review CLOUDLAND.