Redemption Lake


Are Some Secrets Better Left Buried

Tucson, Arizona 1989 – Eighteen-year-old Matt Garrison is harboring two terrible secrets: his involvement in the drowning death of his 12-year-old cousin, and a night of drunken sex with his best friend’s mother, Crystal, whom he finds dead the following morning. Guilt forces Matt to act on impulse and hide his involvement with Crystal.

Detective Winston Radhauser knows Matt is hiding something. But as the investigation progresses, Radhauser’s attention is focused on Matt’s father. Matt’s world closes in when his dad is arrested for Crystal’s murder and Travis breaks off their friendship. Despite his father’s guilty plea, Matt knows his dad is innocent and only trying to protect his son. Devastated and bent on self-destruction, Matt heads for the lake where his cousin died—the only place he believes can truly free him. Are some secrets better left buried?

         Redemption Lake is a novel of love and betrayal. It’s about truth and lies, friendship and redemption, about assuming responsibility, and the risks a father and son will take to protect each other. It was a finalist for the RONE award for best mystery.


"This murder mystery is full of twists and turns, and keeps the reader guessing until the very end. There is strong character development throughout; even the minor characters are memorable, and this is due to author Susan Clayton-Goldner’s subtle use of speech patterns and phrasing in dialogue, descriptiveness of each character’s unconscious mannerisms, habits, etc. It is so refreshing to come to know and remember each character through this style of introduction. All carry their own burden of angst, which gives the reader little clues about not only the obvious suspects, but also those we would not suspect. However, (and this is my opinion only), the two main characters, Matt Garrison and Detective Winston “Wind” Radhouser, come off as over-burdened by their personal demons. Winston, in particular, buries his grief in overwork; which made me question how he could possibly continue his job as a homicide detective, given the nature of such work. Yet, it all succeeds in the unfolding story, for their demons give them insight into the intimate flaws and strengths of the people in their orbit. Another great thing about this novel is the description of police procedures throughout the story. Fascinating stuff! Ms. Goldner’s research should be cited as an example of thorough research, for this knowledge she shares with us in the action of the story enhances belief. “Redemption Lake” will keep you reading into the wee hours – it’s that good! I recommend it to all fans of a page-turning mystery. "
5-star review on Amazon

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