The Bridge to Belle Island

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

Even though it took me a little bit to get into this book, once I got into it it captured my attention. I loved how it kept me guessing. Whenever I thought I had figured out who the murderer was, something new would come to light and change my mind. I really enjoyed this book!
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After a humiliating mistake, lawyer Benjamin Booker resolves to never again trust a beautiful woman. When an old friend is killed, the senior partner isn't satisfied with Bow Street's efforts and asks Benjamin to investigate. Eager to leave London for a while, Benjamin agrees. Evidence takes him to a remote island on the Thames, a world unto itself, shrouded in mist and mystery. Soon he finds himself falling for the main suspect--a woman who claims not to have left the island in ten years. But should he trust her?

On Belle Island, Isabelle feels safe and leads a productive life, but fear keeps her trapped there. When Mr. Booker arrives with news of her trustee's murder in London, Isabelle is stunned. She has not left the island, yet she has a recurring dream about the man's death. Or is it a memory? She had been furious with him, but she never intended . . . this.

When a second person dies and evidence shockingly points to her, Isabelle doesn't know who to trust: the attractive lawyer or the admirer and friends who assemble on the island, each with grudges against the victim. Can she even trust her own mind? While they search for the truth, secrets come to light and danger comes calling.

Let me start by saying this book had a good mystery.  I had a little trouble getting into the romance of the book.  There was a lot of back story that had to be told to actually get to the romance. At times it seemed like more that one romance was going on.  I also had a little trouble keeping the characters straight.  The book dealt with Benjamin's lack of faith in himself after a sound defeat in his last trial.  Isabelle can not physically leave Belle Island.  She gets a panic attack every time she steps foot on the bridge to get off the island. 

I would still recommend this book because it was a good mystery.  There was several surprises that I didn't see coming.

I was given this book by Bethany House Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.
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Gerade hat Anwalt Benjamin Booker unrühmlich und geschäftsschädigend einen Fall vor Gericht verloren, weil er den Lügen der schönen Angeklagten auf den Leim gegangen ist, als er mit Robert Hardy, dem Besitzer der Kanzlei, zufällig zum Tatort eines Mordes dazu kommt, Opfer ist ein nun pensionierter Partner der Kanzlei.  Da sie dem Ergebnis des Pathologen und dem Engagement der Bowstreetrunner nicht recht trauen, macht sich Benjamin auf Hardys Bitten hin auf den Weg zur verdächtigten Tante nach Belle Island, mit der er sich das Opfer zuletzt gestritten hat. Gerne lässt Benjamin nach seinem peinlichen Versagen London für eine Weile hinter sich und schwört sich nie mehr einer schönen Frau auf den Leim zu gehen. In Isabelle trifft er auf der Insel jedoch eine gleichaltrige Frau, die angibt die Insel schon seit 10 Jahren nicht mehr verlassen zu haben.

Man kommt gut in die Geschichte rein. Sie liest sich flüssig, man bemerkt die erfahrene Autorin. Der erste Teil des Romans ist eine reine recht ruhige Spuren- und Tätersuche, mit vielen Fragen und Verdächtigungen. Dann nimmt die Erzählung etwas Tempo auf, als immer mehr Beteiligte auf der Insel auftauchen und weitere Ereignisse eintreffen. Den Täter konnte ich schon zum letzten Drittel hin erraten. Spät entwickelt sich noch eine schöne Romanze. Das Ende ist ereignisreich und alle Fragen werden geklärt. Mit den gesundheitlichen und mentalen Beeinträchtigungen der Protagonisten hat die Autorin sich ernste Hintergründe ausgewählt. Diese andere Art des Romans kommt vielleicht nicht bei allen Fans gut an.    

Für das eBook, Danke an Netgalley.
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If you love a good ol' fashioned murder mystery that keeps you guessing right until the very end, The Bridge To Belle Island is certainly one you will want to add to your TBR list! 

As I was reading this book, I couldn't help but think of the game Clue. In the beginning there is a bit of a question as the the HOW, but for the most part it really has you guessing as to the WHO. We were introduced to a wide variety of possible suspects--- all with motives and all seemingly hiding something. As such, it was hard to figure out right away just who it could be. They all seemed as though they could be the guilty party! But was it the MURDER they were guilty of? Isn't that what makes a good mystery? I did start to possibly suspect the real culprit towards the end, but I wasn't quite confident in that, nor was I able to figure out the details. For the most part, this isn't a high paced mystery, but rather one that draws out much more slowly giving us bits and pieces of information until the final reveal. There are a few more action packed moments, but for the most part it was pretty slow moving. Typically I do prefer a more fast paced suspense, but I really felt like it worked in this particular story. 

If you pick up this book hoping for a ton of romance, you might be a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong, there IS some romance in the story, but I didn't feel like it was a huge part of the story until the very end. I didn't mind that in the slightest, but again something to consider if that's what you are looking for. 

Overall, this was a really fun read and one that I would certainly recommend to those who like a historical mystery! I very much enjoyed it. 

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own.
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I read this book on author reputation alone - I've read most of her books. So I was a little surprised to find myself immersed in a murder mystery, rather than a historical love story, like I expected. Some things were predictable and I thought were obvious from the beginning, others I missed entirely... and I related with other characters berating themselves for having overlooked things. There is a decent blend of love story and suspense. And I loved reading about medicine and law from a historical perspective. Very interesting and a page turner for sure, especially in the last third.

Side note: as usual, I think this book would have been even stronger with just one perspective, heightening the doubt and mystery.
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“Benjamin Booker sat in the Old Bailey, pulse pounding. His most important case to date had finally been called to trial—his chance to prove himself to the firm’s partners.” - Opening lines of “The Bridge to Belle Island” by Julie Klassen

This Julie Klassen novel is full of mystery! It had me hooked from the first page to the last! In “The Bridge to Belle Island”, our leading man, Benjamin, finds himself at a murder scene with his mentor and the law firm’s senior partner. When the investigation doesn’t progress swiftly enough, Benjamin is sent to Belle Island to observe our leading lady, Isabelle, and establish if she’s involved in the murder.

Both Benjamin and Isabelle are wonderful characters supported by interesting and complex ones. The mystery is multi-layered and full of twists! The writing is beautiful, descriptive without slowing the pace of the story. To this, Julie adds a delightful romance, slow-growing and realistic. The principles of Christianity form a backbone to the story and something to think over once the novel ends.

If you love historical mysteries, with a touch of romance, this one is for you! It’s a five out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale and highly recommended!
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Julie Klassen once again pens a book with a creative plot, the mystery surrounding the death of Percival Norris entirely unpredictable as she takes you on a journey wherein by the end of the story, you have probably suspected every character of being involved!  The book definitely held my interest and I had trouble putting it down!  I loved the slow building suspense as you get to know the characters, their flaws and pasts detailed for you to connect with them as they grow and change.  I really liked how Isabelle is a kind and caring person, but she also harbors fear of the unknown, of change, and of leaving what is comfortable for her.  The romance is clean and sweet.  I liked the bits of history and descriptions of the scenes that made it easy to envision the setting.  The spiritual content is flawlessly woven among the story.  I am a big fan of Julie Klassen and really love her books!  This is definitely a book that I recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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Isabelle Wilder is a 30 year old spinster who is chained to her home on Belle Island by fear since most of her relatives who left the island ended up dead.  Thirty one year old Benjamin Booker is a lawyer who just lost an important case due to being swayed by the wiles of his female client.  Now one of his bosses, Percival Norris, has been found dead; and the main suspect is Isabelle Wilder whose trust he handled.  When his other boss, Mr. Hardy, sends Benjamin to Belle Island to investigate, he finds much more than he bargained for.  

Slow building suspense and a plethora of suspects set the stage for a well developed Regency, romantic suspense.  When you just about think you have figured out who killed Percival Norris, there is a twist that seems to point the finger at someone else.  I felt the pace was a bit slow in places, but overall a very enjoyable read.  

**I received a complimentary copy of this book  from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley.  Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
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What an interesting book…..A lone island with only a bridge linking it to the mainland. The owner, a woman who is ruled by fear that crossing the bridge will surely bring death to her. Even though the one dearest to her is to be married  and she longs to be there for her, she cannot overcome her panic…..Then things get very complicated, her uncle is murdered and she is the number one suspect, even though she has not crossed the bridge in years. She could not possibly have done the murder…..Enter a young lawyer who comes to the island to see what he can learn about the heiress and for evidence that she really did commit murder….All in all a great read filled with suspense, intrigue and romance. Klassen has certainly written one that will hold your interest to find out who the culprit is. It will surprise you…….I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I have read many Julie Klassen novels and was overjoyed when I received The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie Klassen. This book introduces a lawyer named Benjamin Booker who experiences a detrimental loss in his career. So now, he has trust issues, particularly with beautiful women. When he and his mentor discover that an old partner has been found murdered, they are determined to bring the culprit to justice. The evidence leads them to Isabelle Wilder on Belle Island. Isabelle has experienced so much tragedy in her life that she has not left her island in 10 years. Or has she? Evidence points to her, but she is adamant that she is innocent. Can Benjamin believe her? Or is he too trusting? If she is innocent, then who committed the murder?

I have always enjoyed Julie Klassen novels but this one is just on another level! There is a wonderful romance story and historical aspect, but the murder mystery just adds so much more. It is complex and I was trying to solve the murder as I was reading. It was not predictable either, which is huge for me! The moment I picked up the book, I did not want to put it down. The characters feel so real and engaging. In fact, I could really relate to both Benjamin and Isabelle. Benjamin struggles with vertigo and Isabelle struggles with severe anxiety. Both of which, I struggle with. In fact, both put me in the hospital. So I could really relate to the fear and struggle they both experience. I really hope people can learn how debilitating both of these illnesses are.

The book touches on many themes, but the major one is forgiveness which really tugs at the heartstrings. Isabelle is such a darling character and watching her rise above and care for those around her and forgive those who hurt her the most. Then seeing Benjamin deal with learning to trust again is beautiful as well. Those who enjoy inspirational historical fiction will love this book and those who love a good mystery won’t be disappointed either! This book deserves 5 out of 5 stars!

Thank you to Julie Klassen, Bethany House, and NetGalley for a copy of the book!
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Julie Klassen is one of my go-to Christian fiction novelists. In a world where many Regency writers vie for attention, I know I can usually rely on her to provide work that’ll entertain me. Klassen is one of a select few who have taught me more about this particular era of my birth country’s history than any formal history classes did. Actually, the curriculum during my school years missed most of it and we gained a skewed perspective from BBC period comedies. I can also say that I am NOT a particular fan of Jane Austen. The 1990s BBC production of Pride and Prejudice gave me a slight appreciation of her work, but that’s it.

Is it strange that someone who isn’t a fan of Austen can enjoy novels inspired by the 19th century writer? In my case, I enjoy the stories rather than the art of the storytelling. The Bridge to Belle Island is a tasty whodunit, which begins with an apparently unconnected trial at the Old Bailey in London, and finishes in a Thames community far quieter than the bustling English capital. By the time I finished reading, something I might have done quicker than I did thanks to the intercession of real life, I had suspected several of the cast of characters – only to discover how wrong I was. I was tempted to re-read it to see what I’d missed. Klassen had provided the clues, but I’d failed to spot them.

This is a novel I can imagine being played out on screen, so long as it paid attention to Klassen’s descriptive settings, characters, and plot. I read the dramatic conclusion and saw it taking place in my head. I loved the ending. Yes, it’s a postscript, but it isn’t rushed. Instead, it matches the pace of the preceding pages, and contains the expected happy ending. 

Disclaimer: Although I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, the words and opinions below are my own.
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This was a wonderful story! I normally love books by Julie Klassen, so I knew this should be a good story. But it was even better than I expected! The characters were well done, and I enjoyed getting to know them as the interesting story unfolded. The plot had some very interesting twists in it, and the mystery was amazing! Who would have thought a little island like this could hold such a story. The book is simply a must read in my opinion, and I can not wait for the next book by Julie Klassen to be released!
  I received this book free through NetGalley from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. The opinions are my own.
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Julie Klassen’s The Bridge to Belle Island is a suspense-filled Regency romance, but for me, it wasn’t the Klassen I’m used to. Not to say that the book isn’t good. But it did take me a bit to get into. I pushed myself to continue reading, though, and I think it was well worth it.

Klassen did a great job of slowly revealing clues and building suspense. I would be certain I knew who the murderer was, but then Klassen would throw a curveball that left me second-guessing. With twists and turns and plenty of suspects, The Bridge to Belle Island will keep you turning pages. For me, though, it took about a third of the novel before I was truly invested.

The romance itself is nicely done, but it’s more of a subplot. The main story is in Isabelle’s anxiety and Benjamin’s search for redemption. Both are good stories and worthy of exploration, but they didn’t create the romantic tension I expected. If anything, they seemed to slow the story down a bit. And at times I found the leads to be a bit dry at times, though Isabelle became a bit more sympathetic when I learned more of her backstory.

That being said, I do still recommend the book. Julie Klassen may not write action-packed reads, but she knows how to weave a mystery while exploring the human condition. I liked the way she explored how fear can control our lives, whether it’s fear of repeating past mistakes or fear of stepping out of your comfort zone. And just as she did with her Tales from Ivy Hills trilogy, Klassen has crafted a book perfect for a relaxing afternoon with a cup of tea.

(Review will go live on the blog on Dec. 13 at 5 pm)
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I have read almost all of Julie Klassen's books and this has to be my favorite of all of them.
The characters really jump off the page at you, demanding your attention to solve the case before another murder occurs.
The story line was superb and I learned about Belle Island and River Thames , the ebb and flow of the river and it's flooding.
Belle Island is fiction but I could picture myself there among it's people watching the mystery crack wide open.
The story involves a disenchanted lawyer on the island to get answers to a shocking murder. All the clues point to a beautiful woman, but is she really innocent as she claims or does she have something sinister hidden behind her beautiful eyes.
Smooth flowing the story takes us from one mysterious event to the next as the story progresses .

Pub Date 03 Dec 2019 
I was given a complimentary copy. Thank you.
All opinions expressed are my own.
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A beautiful heiress is implicated in a shocking murder, while a lawyer who vowed never to trust a beautiful face is the only one who can help her clear her name.

Isabelle loves her home on Belle Island, but fears keep her from spreading her wings and going beyond it's familiar comfort. She is shocked at the accusations, but she cannot with clarity say that she did not commit the crime. 

Benjamin took a different path than was laid out for him, carving out a career in law. He seeks to live his faith, and has a compassionate heart. He can't help but want to believe in  Isabelle's innocence, even when all the clues point to her.  

A regency era gothic novel of murder, deceit, mystery, and betrayal. A compelling mystery, no one knows who to trust, even the suspects themselves are questioning if they could have done it. Benjamin is drawn to Isabelle despite his reservations he sees in her someone one who understands him like no one else, yet everything seems to lead to her. The mystery kept me guessing, along with the full cast of characters with secrets of their own. This is a wonderfully complex read, with good elements of mystery, faith, and characters that I loved cheering for the entire way through, with their vulnerabilities making them more real and relatable.

A riveting and highly enjoyable read from beginning to end, with a mystery that kept me guessing and wonderful world building. Highly recommend this fantastic read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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One would think there would not be many suspects to be found on a small privately owned island related to a murder committed in London. Ah, but one would be wrong because there are suspects in abundance. It is up to attorney Benjamin Booker to work through them all in order to prove the innocence of Isabelle Wilder, owner and prisoner of Belle Island. Intrigued? I hope so because I believe you will find this mystery and Klassen's characters compelling. Klassen's theme of trust and confidence over worry and doubt is carefully woven into the story, and is viewed through the lens of personal failure and circumstances that steal one's hope. I highly recommend this book and am grateful to have received a copy from Bethany House via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review, and received no monetary compensation.
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I’ve read a handful of Klassen books and this may be one of my favorites.  It reminded me a little of the movie “Clue” where there are many people around and everyone seems to have some reason for disliking the victim.  I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery.

There were several interesting factors in the story.  One of the suspects is an agoraphobic woman who claims to have not left her island in 10 years.  One of the investigating lawyers has vertigo.  There are random Jane Austen quotes sprinkled throughout.  And it was fascinating to see how the criminal investigation went forward in this time period.  There were twists and turns.  All this made for a great read.  I’d recommend it.

Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a free e-copy of this book.  All opinions are my own.

#TheBridgetoBelleIsland   #Netgalley
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" The Bridge to Belle Island"   is  a mystery and  also romantic fiction.  Benjamin Booker is a lawyer and is in a  firm with several other  lawyers.   In the beginning   one of the lawyers  was  murdered.  Benjamin was  sent   to Belle  Island to  figure out   the  details on how the murder occurred and who  may have  killed   his partner.   Belle Island is  isolated and   the area  is a mystery . It is  located on the Thames   river.   Other  problems have occurred there which have not  been solved.  The  island   was  very  secluded and removed.  from other    areas  and  cities in London.  Why  would  there be unsolved mysteries there.   Isabelle  has lived there  for years. She  rarely  left the island.   She   tried to   find  safety  on Belle  Island  but  it  also was a place  of  fear  to  her  after all the tragedies  that  have occurred there. She  was  very anxious and is constantly  looking for peace and serenity.  The reader will enter the  world of mystery and uncertainty   when   they  read the Bridge to  Belle Island. How will these  uncertainties  be solved.  ?  It is wonderful that the author    reminds the characters of  how  God is  there for  them during   times of  trouble.   Thank you to  netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review this book. It  is a wonderful  book .  I will share my review with facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, my blog and the   church  staff as well.
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The author kept me guessing, almost to the end, and thankfully a wonderful job is done to totally complete this read.
Greed and Pride, and maybe more, but these come in to play, and end with murder, but who wanted this lawyer dead? When the facts begin to fall, the list grows, and really surprises abound.
The setting sounds so ideal, a beautiful island on the Tames, made me want to live there!
If you like a book that is filled with action, most you won’t see coming, intrigue, and mystery, and natural disaster, this one won’t leave you wanting!
I received this book through Net Galley the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
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Julie Klassen’s latest release is full of twists and turns, making it a challenge, if not impossible, to solve the mystery of who killed Percival Norris. The majority of the time, I felt like I was reading a drawn out game of Clue that had me guessing and regrouping several times until the end.
All characters are likely suspects, with powerful motivations to see the crotchety former barrister dead. With the introduction of secondary characters scattered throughout the first few chapters, each one is highly suspect and hiding something. What is revealed in later pages may have readers stunned to learn their secrets.
There is something to love, and forgive, about each character. Ms. Klassen spins a tale so intriguing that one can’t help but to root for the innocence of the full cast. In the end, the culprit is not the most likely suspect.
When it comes to issues of faith, main characters struggle with their relationship with God. It's not heavy into the faith journey, but there is a bit of it throughout the pages.
This was such an enjoyable read that it’s going in my TBRA pile (To Be Read Again).
Next time, I’ll be sure to study the red herrings more closely and congratulate the author on her obvious cleverness.
Well done.
I received an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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