Dr. Dan Rice, with his marriage in dissolution and his son incarcerated, is trapped in a conservative Northwest college which he believes is unsuitable for a modern, literary man of his sensibilities.
Listless and incendiary, he becomes infatuated with Suzanne Lacy, another teacher on the faculty. Suzanne, a victim of child sexual abuse, is a loner and rebuffs his repeated attempts at courtship. Finally, having exhausted all conventional means of pursuit, on a cold, autumn evening he sedates her with ether and imprisons her in a bomb shelter in his basement.
When he learns that he has terminal brain cancer, he is in a dilemma about what to do with Suzanne. He can’t free her to expose him, yet he is reluctant to let her starve to death in the bomb shelter as his health deteriorates. Suzanne finds unexpected love in a dark adventure which, in it’s wake, leaves a trail of death. The victims are deposited in Spirit Lake where, according to an Indian legend, bodies buried in the lake haunt their captors in dreams and in the afterlife. Spirit lake is a chilling tale of obsession, love and murder.
In this gripping, cat-and-mouse crime novel, the author develops a dizzying plot that keeps the reader stunned with each turn.
Set against the backdrop of a Northwestern mountain community, the story is shaped by the haunting legend of Spirit Lake and its spellbinding quality that magnetizes the characters and ultimately lures them to their demise.
Despite the sinister narrative, the novel quietly addresses the imbalances of society, weighing the disparities that exist between the wealthy, educated public and those toiling to carve out a better existence.
In a startling twist that alters the direction of the story, Suzanne and Dan unite on a mission to elude authorities and create an unfathomable tragedy that solidifies their sociopathic behavior.
While the tone of the novel is bleak and callous, Dixon crafts multifaceted characters that successfully guide the reader through this absorbing and chilling tale of passion and sin. – Rebecca L. Morgan