Title: Hope Island (Coffin Cove Mysteries #3)
Author: Jackie Elliott
Published on: 7 April 2022
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Andi Silvers has begun to feel Coffin Cove, a tiny fishing village on the Vancouver coast, as her new home. She’s living with Hepzibah and sort-of dating Harry (Hepzibah’s brother.) Her job at the Gazette is going well too. The almost-dying newspaper picked up customers after Andi’s previous coverage on the murders in Coffin Cove.
The rumor is that, a new journalist is in town and might join the Gazette. Is Andi’s job in trouble? Only time will tell… Meanwhile, the mayor signs a project for development on Hope Island; the remote island once known to be the home of abused women. During the demolition of existing structures, human remains are found underneath the floor boards.
Inspector Vega is on a vacation at Yukon when he finds himself caught in a murder investigation. A woman was shot to death at her cabin while her fiancé was shot and left to die in the freezing snow. There’s another incident at the gas station back in Vancouver Island and a woman is shot dead.
The man left to die (in the snow) lived in Coffin Cove years ago. He left the town after his wife went missing. It becomes quite clear that his shooting might have something to do with his missing wife.
Hope Island is the third book in Jackie Elliott’s Coffin Cove Mysteries.
What a fantastic, mind-blowing and gripping mystery! Jackie Elliott has once again written a marvelous story that keeps one guessing till the end. I have been following this series from the start and this is one of my favorite mystery series. Hope Island was mentioned in the previous two books – after all, Hepzibah and her mother lived there for a long time – and to see the same island as a missing piece of the puzzle in this book was like a cherry on top.
The emphasis is not only on the island for abused and battered women, but also on the racist attacks and the ill-treatment of Native Americans back in the 1960s. The story begins with Essie, a young Indian girl who lies to her grandmother and goes camping with a white boy named Michael. Things take a turn for worse, Essie is beaten badly but manages to escape from the camper group. She gets onto a bus that drops her to Hope Island.
Fast forward to the present, the residents of Coffin Cove are not happy with the Mayor’s decision to develop Hope Island. Though Native Americans are now given equal rights, there still seems to be a dull wave of racism around. When the construction workers reach the island, one of them stumbles across a human remains buried below the floorboards of a dilapidated cottage.
Meanwhile, a woman is shot dead at a gas station. Reason for killing her remains unknown – it was not a mugging gone bad. The witness, a help at the gas station, remembers something that happened a few days before the shooting – a stranger leaving his card with the boy and asking him to pass it on to the owner/victim.
Inspector Vega is on a vacation at Yukon. He and Andi Silvers did have a chemistry of sorts. But both did not take further steps and Andi started dating Harry. Well, they haven’t given their relationship a name but Andi would love it if Harry calls her ‘girlfriend.’ At Yukon, a woman and her dog are shot dead in their cabin. The victim’s fiancé is a gold mine owner and when he returns to the cabin, he’s shot too. But Beth Stanton, the local police, finds the man buried in the snow with a gun shot wound but still breathing. He’s taken to the hospital for further treatment.
Soon, it becomes clear that the man fighting for his life in the hospital was, once upon a time, a Coffin Cove resident. His wife, Alice, disappeared years ago with their only child. This was the result of a fight between the man and his friend – both men were in love with Alice.
Andi has a surprise waiting for her. Rumor is that, there’s a new journalist in town. Andi’s boss, Jim, is acting strange too. Is Andi’s job on the line? Then, she meets this so-called journalist – and is shocked to learn of his identity.
The missing piece of the puzzle connecting all these crimes seems to be money, greed and dirty politics. As the story proceeds, it becomes very clear that these murders were done in an act of safeguarding someone. Someone well-connected and capable of ruining lives too, if necessary.
There’s a bit of romance, blast from the past, crimes and a personal tragedy. In other words, one heck of an action-packed mystery! Jackie Elliott is a master storyteller. At the beginning of the story, readers are given bits of pieces of murders happening in and around Coffin Cove so one is bound to wonder – are these crimes connected? Are these characters somehow connected to the crimes happening elsewhere? I loved the way how each of these side stories are intricately weaved to form a single pattern.
Gripping, chilling, mind-blowing, riveting, engrossing… I am out of adjectives to describe this fantabulous mystery. If you are looking for a riveting mystery, you might want to give Hope Island by Jackie Elliott a read. If you are new to the series, I highly recommend you to start from book #1.
Book #1: Coffin Cove
Book #2: Hell’s Half Acre
Many thanks to the lovely Hanna from Joffe Books for sending me a copy of Hope Island in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.