Monday, November 27, 2023

Book Review: Beneath the Surface

By Sara Steven

You are cordially invited to an overnight voyage on the Splendid Seas.

An invitation to Catalina Island from billionaire CEO Richard Kingsley. For his sons, Ted and John, and their wives, it’s an opportunity to curry favor, gain control of a real estate empire, and secure their family’s futures. For the controlling patriarch, succession is a contest. He and his newest wife won’t make it an easy win.

Then Richard’s estranged live-wire daughter, Sibley, crashes the party. She’s the least of the night’s surprises. As the stakes for the inheritance of the Kingsley legacy are raised, the beautiful waters of the Pacific look more like a menacing illusion.

Let the games begin for a family who has everything money can buy, and has used lies, deception, and more to keep it. This weekend one of them will be crowned heir. One is in line to lose everything. That’s the plan. But in the coming storm, so much can go dangerously wrong. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Reading Beneath the Surface reminded me of watching one of those thriller dramas that instantly suck you in. From the very beginning, there is an undercurrent of intrigue and mystery, even though the scenery portrays possible innocence and normalcy. 

Ted and his wife Paige are making their way to the Splendid Seas, with Paige internalizing what kinds of tragedies can happen on a yacht, along with the deaths that have been suffered at Catalina Island. John and his wife Rachel are so focused on success and coming out on top, that they even wear business attire to meet with the patriarch of the family, Richard. They will stop at nothing to get what they want. The reader is instructed to focus on one thing, while there are plenty of other hidden agendas lurking beneath the truth. 

Richard has pitted his two sons against each other their entire lives. It’s no surprise that both John and Ted want to be their father’s successor, even though due to lies, deceptions and manipulations, neither are fit to do so. Not that Richard doesn’t have his own skeletons in the closet. It’s no secret to anyone who knows him, but for some reason, he can skirt by all of it unscathed. Until someone threatens to reveal what has really been going on with Kingsley Enterprises.

Beneath the Surface is the type of mystery read I really enjoy! Those undertones of darkness, mingled in with various mysteries to figure out. One of the biggest surprises had to be Richard’s wife, Serena, and what’s really been going on with her when Richard isn’t looking. The final decision made in the end by Richard as to who would be his successor really was the perfect way to end things. It’s exactly what I would have done. A worthy, five-star read!

Thanks to BookSparks for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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