Dorothy Parker RIO Award(Reviewers International) 2000
Award of Excellence Nominee - Romantic Suspense
July 2000 - Hard Shell Word Factory
"Linda Opdyke is in a league with Tami Hoag, Kay Hooper and Iris Johannsen. She gives you the tops in suspense!"
...Suzanne Coleburn - The Belles & Beaux of Romance
"An amazingly moving book, Linda Opdyke's newest suspense novel, LAKE BRAXTON is a bold and powerful story, laying siege to your emotions and invading your senses. A true stunner that is nearly impossible to put down, LAKE BRAXTON reaches into your soul, taking no prisoners."
...Aimee McLeod - Murder List
"LAKE BRAXTON is Opdyke's second in what should be a very long and exciting career. A book this intense is definitely a one-sitting read and will have readers clamoring for more!"
...Mystery Morgue editor PJ Nunn
"Linda Opdyke has written a superb suspense filled novel with wonderful richly drawn characters each etched in their own loves, fears and regrets. Lake Braxton grabs you and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. I couldn't put it down. Definitely not the book to start reading if you have to get up early the next day!"...Five Stars!...Scribes World
"Word by careful word, line upon well crafted line, Linda Opdyke weaves suspense magic in her newest novel, LAKE BRAXTON. A word of caution, you might want to read this chilling tale in daylight!" ...Pauline B. Jones - author THE SPY WHO KISSED ME and Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Nominee for THE LAST ENEMY
Reviewed by Suzanne Coleburn, The Belles & Beaux of Romance
Linda Opdyke does it again! Her second stunning suspense in LAKE BRAXTON, and the key here is to get ready for edge of your seat thrills as Ethan "Cockeye" Jenks (you met him in STONES THROW) the detective, now has a well deserved book of his own this time around. Ethan and his wife, Mickey, are in the process of getting a divorce and heís not happy that she suddenly walked out on him without an explanation two yearsí ago. Michelle, Mickey, is deeply in love with Ethan but couldnít stand the pain of losing him as he daily put his life on the line as the top investigator and owner of his own detective agency.
Mickey comes back into Ethanís life to get the divorce papers signed and she also has a secret agenda on her mind as well. She wants to pump Ethan for how-tos so she can investigate on her own, her beloved cousinís suicide, that she thinks is really murder. She waltzís into Ethanís life for a night and then quietly leaves again.
Mickey moves into her cousin Jesseís house in Lake Braxton, Tennessee from Nashville and starts her investigation, starting at the Roadhouse, a restaurant where Jesse last worked. She didnít tell Ethan of her suspicions of murder, or that Jesse had sent her diary and gold tennis bracelet to her for safekeeping the day she died either simply because she didnít want to place him in danger.
There is a marvelous cast of characters that may have had motives to kill Jesse, but who and why is the tricky question Mickey keeps asking herself as she digs deeper and deeper. Mickey has some close, scary calls, and before you know it our top investigator Ethan is in town posing as Mickeyís brother. I am not going to spoil this by telling you much more except you canít put this story down once started.
Okay, one little hint! You canít believe everything your hear and half of what you see. And Mickey and Ethan get into some hell of close encounters with death and discovery that will have you gasping for breath right down to the pulse-pounding ending.
I am hoping to see more of Ethan and Mickey in coming adventures. They make a dynamic duo!
Suzanne "Would I Ever Love to Have Ethan Always Within Shouting Distance!" Coleburn
Reviewed by Aimee McLeod for Murder List
Readers will remember Ethan "Cockeye" Jenks as a secondary character in Linda's first novel, STONES THROW. And now he's back, with a story of his very own that surpasses the unbelievable tension of Linda's previous work. Ethan seems to have it all: he's a private investigator by trade, broad-shouldered and handsome by nature, and able to control his emotions by professional necessity. But the one thing he can't control is his willful and independent wife who left him two years ago with no more of an explanation than a quietly closed door in his face.
Enter Mickey Jenks, Ethan's beautiful wife, who is just getting around to filing the papers to make their divorce final. But first, she needs his advice-just this one last time. He's been her rock, her strength in the face of adversity, and now she wants to pick his investigative brain as her cousin recently died and Mickey isn't convinced it was suicide. A late evening meeting at an intimate restaurant is just the beginning of an emotionally charged encounter between two people who have buried their feelings of love for two years under anger and regret.
Disregarding Ethan's warnings, Mickey heads out to Lake Braxton, Tennessee, in an attempt to piece together the mysterious hints her cousin left behind. Although Mickey was married to a private detective for more than seven years, her bumbling attempts at drawing information out of witnesses and leaping to conclusions, proves she never once talked with her husband about how to conduct an undercover investigation. NaÔve mistakes, like creeping stealthily down a dark road at night to search a suspect's house, while wearing a blaring white uniform that could be seen for miles, place Mickey straight in the path of a killer.
To say I fell head first into this book would be an understatement. I was literally carried away by Linda's conscious detail to plot and depth of characterization. Waves of emotion rolled off the pages of this incredibly moving book. From intrigue and suspense in a great who dunnit mystery to this crazy little thing called love, LAKE BRAXTON has it all. Another deeply plotted and sub-plotted book, with careful attention given to emotions that tie us in knots, Linda has produced a beyond phenomenal read.
Reviewed by PJ Nunn for e-zines Mystery Morgue and Raven Feathers
Mickey's marriage to private investigator Ethan "Cockeye" Jenks was more than she could handle. As much as she loved him, she couldn't take another night of wondering if he'd make it home alive. But now, after two years of separation, she finds herself needing his expertise. Her cousin Jesse is dead, but no amount of evidence will convince Mickey that she took her own life.
Determined to find out the truth, and equally unwavering about keeping Ethan out of harm's way, Mickey moves into Jesse's house in Lake Braxton and starts her own investigation. Securing a job as a waitress and bartender in the club where Jesse worked, Mickey immediately gets a response. Unfortunately, it's
not one that she desired. The tiny community is very closed-mouthed and exclusive. It seems everyone has a secret and nobody wants to talk about Jesse.
The sheriff is friendly, but insists that Jesse's death was a suicide. Discounting Mickey's meager evidence to the contrary, he believes Mickey's grief over the loss of her beloved cousin has distorted her interpretation of the facts. But someone believes her, or maybe just knows the truth. Her house has been ransacked and she's being stalked! To further complicate things, Ethan shows up unannounced and joins the investigation much to Mickey's
dismay. Her conclusions are never the same as his but both agree - her life is in very real danger!
Opdyke is an extraordinary storyteller, with vivid descriptions and characters that resemble people every reader might know. Emotional entanglements take a back seat to non-stop action and the pace never slows on this roller coaster ride of mystery and suspense. LAKE BRAXTON is Opdyke's second in what should be a very long and exciting career. A book this intense is definitely a one-sitting read and will have readers clamoring for more!
Reviewed by PJ Nunn
Reviewed by Leann Arndt for Buzzy's Reviews and eBookad.com
From the very first, it's telling cover art, Lake Braxton was a strong read.
Jesse McClain has apparently committed suicide. She had been grieving the loss of her husband and apparently things got out of hand. That is what her diary claims and that should be enough proof. Shouldn't it?
Well be that as it may, it isn't good enough for her cousin, Michele Jenks. Michele has been married for seven years to private investigator Ethan Jenks and is calling it quits. Deciding to find out the truth behind her cousin's death, feeling that she can, her next stop is the resort town of Lake Braxton.
The truth is slowly unearthed and Michele discovers the reality of a complicated murder that may well cause her own. Meanwhile top investigator Ethan is up against her every move.
I find it more and more difficult to find mystery characters as engaging as Michele and Ethan. Although there are many fictional pairs out there. I think of them as a sub-genre akin to Romantic Suspense. Sub-genres can bore me just as much as entertain me. Well, at least when the books begin to
resemble pennies tossed into the wind.. I was afraid that Mickey and Ethan would bore me.. However, while certainly a familiar pair, I had to know what would happen to them. I had to read straight to the end. A strong read and enjoyable characters.
Reviewed by Leann Arndt