The Storm King

The Storm King

Haunted by dark secrets and an unsolved mystery, a young doctor returns to his isolated Adirondacks hometown in a tense, atmospheric novel in the vein of Michael Koryta and Harlan Coben.Burying the past only gives it strength--and fury.Nate McHale has assembled the kind of life most people would envy. After a tumultuous youth marked by his inexplicable survival of a devast...

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Title:The Storm King
Author:Brendan Duffy
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Storm King Reviews

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    Have you ever read a book and simply couldn't fit it neatly into a single category? That's how I felt about 

    ; I found that it defied genre boundaries and haven't a clue how to portray the correct recommendation for it. It is suspenseful, yes, but I wouldn't market it as a thriller. The story is a slow burning mystery, a delectable piece of crime fiction, and a coming of age story- all wrapped into one neat and tidy novel. I hate to compare books to one another, but the only one tha

    Have you ever read a book and simply couldn't fit it neatly into a single category? That's how I felt about 

    ; I found that it defied genre boundaries and haven't a clue how to portray the correct recommendation for it. It is suspenseful, yes, but I wouldn't market it as a thriller. The story is a slow burning mystery, a delectable piece of crime fiction, and a coming of age story- all wrapped into one neat and tidy novel. I hate to compare books to one another, but the only one that gave me a similar feeling while reading recently was 

     by C.J. Tudor; this wasn't due to the plot or writing style being similar, but they both had some similar themes regarding the loss of childhood innocence and centered around mysterious circumstances of murder. Again, I emphasize the FEELING here, being that it caused much contemplation over important themes.

    If you're looking for a fast paced thriller or even the briefest of psychological suspense to carry the weight of the story, you won't find it here. This book is for the patient reader who is looking for deep characterization over action and drama; the lush writing and complex formatting is best served to those who like to take their time and experience the growing up process alongside these teens. I found the style of storytelling to be quite compelling; here we have past and present tense being shown from the third person POV which made for a challenging (in a good way) reading experience and kept me guessing as to what was coming next. It's the type of story that gives you some of the answers up front and then fills in the blanks along the way. I know I have harped on the fact that this isn't a thriller, but the final 75 pages or so WERE indeed thrilling. So there you have it. ;)

    I cannot convey how incredibly refreshing and invigorating it was to pick up a mystery that was neither "the twisty-est psychological thriller you've ever read" or "insert generic plot of marriage in crisis featuring domestic abuse and marital rape". This was just a straight up classic crime fiction with a traditional feeling mystery, full of rich characters and insightful writing. I cannot believe I haven't seen this book plastered all over every form of social media yet, so if you're tired of the in-your-face mainstream reads of late, give this one a try. Highly recommended and a tale I won't soon forget.

  • Tammy

    Joe Hill could have written this. It's that good. The Storm King, on it's surface is a thrilling who-dun-it. Behind the riveting plot, it examines what we do (both good and bad) and the far reaching consequences our actions have. I took one star off for a disappointing scene that made me roll my eyes like a teenager. Thankfully, the scene is brief and wasn't enough to mar the overall success of this entertaining novel. I'm keeping my eye on Duffy. He's an author worth watching.

  • Linda

    Vengeance is a bitter brew served in your own cupped hands.

    Nate McHale finds himself tracking far distant miles from home aboard a cramped bus in the direction of Greystone Lake, New York. A hurricane is churning up along the east coast making travel hazardous at best. His thoughts turn to his wife Meg and his daughter Livvy who are headed to the safety of her parents' home. Images of his patients also swirl in the mind of this pediatric surgical oncologist.

    Now what would draw this dedicated m

    Vengeance is a bitter brew served in your own cupped hands.

    Nate McHale finds himself tracking far distant miles from home aboard a cramped bus in the direction of Greystone Lake, New York. A hurricane is churning up along the east coast making travel hazardous at best. His thoughts turn to his wife Meg and his daughter Livvy who are headed to the safety of her parents' home. Images of his patients also swirl in the mind of this pediatric surgical oncologist.

    Now what would draw this dedicated man away from his family and his practice on such a foreboding day as this? A funeral. But not just an ordinary funeral. Lucy Bennett, Nate's first love, has been found in the depth of the woods after she had been missing for fourteen years. Nothing proves more than these ties that certainly bind. Although Nate has distanced himself from his hometown of Greystone Lake, there are still darklings so rooted in the past that they continue to zig and zag and bleed into the present. There's a stain on Nate's soul, admitted or not.

    Nate visits his band of brothers from his youth. The name of Lucy is spoken in hushed whispers. They visit their ol' haunt of The Night Ship along the abandoned pier. The Night Ship was once a lively nightclub back in 1964 which housed some unscrupulous activities and tragedies. It also served as a nesting place for Nate and Lucy until the wee hours of the morning.

    But the air is now filled with more electricity than just the impending storm approaching them. Crimes are being committed in the area with severe damage to personal property including the pub owned by Nate's grandmother, Bea. Who's behind all this? Is it one individual or a group of vigilantes with a dark vendetta? And why?

    Brendan Duffy has created a tale here that should make even ol' Alice dizzy from falling down this rabbit hole. He throws everything into this one with unrelenting slams into the walls of that cavernous hole. The reader doesn't have time to steady the mind after this continuous onslaught. And sometimes, just sometimes, this can be just too much of a good thing. You'll have to judge for yourself if you're buying everything that he's selling. Still a good read even though it's like trying to fold back a treacherous paper roadmap. So many, many folds and creases.

    I received a copy of The Storm King through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Ballantine Books (Randomhouse) and Brendan Duffy for the opportunity.

  • Debra

    "Because everyone is guilty of something. Everyone deserves to be punished."

    Just a thought...the past is never really in the past. Actions have consequences.

    Can I just say "READ IT!" and leave my review at that? No? Then read my review below:

    Seriously here is the gist: The book opens after Nate has won his baseball game and he is traveling home with his family when there is a terrible accident and he is the only survivor. He is the sad boy who survived. He is raised by his Gram and has been giv

    "Because everyone is guilty of something. Everyone deserves to be punished."

    Just a thought...the past is never really in the past. Actions have consequences.

    Can I just say "READ IT!" and leave my review at that? No? Then read my review below:

    Seriously here is the gist: The book opens after Nate has won his baseball game and he is traveling home with his family when there is a terrible accident and he is the only survivor. He is the sad boy who survived. He is raised by his Gram and has been given the nickname, "The Storm King" by his group of friends. He and his friends engage in pranks that get him on the wrong side of people growing up. He also becomes the boyfriend of Lucy, the daughter of the man accused in the death of his family members. His teenage years are turbulent and event filled. After one night of drinking and violence, he awakens to learn about the disappearance of his girlfriend. Has she run away as she once planned? Has something bad happened to her? No one knows. It is a question that he will think about often over the years.

    Fast forward to the future: Nate is now a happily married man and father. He has become a respected doctor/surgeon of oncology and his life seems pretty good. That is until he has been called home to attend a funeral - the funeral for Lucy, his long lost girlfriend. Her body has been found in the woods by their hometown. Evidently she never ran away as they all believed all those years ago. As I mentioned, Nate has never stopped thinking about her. He has unanswered questions about the fate of his first love and wants answers. Nate decides to attend the funeral and hopefully get some answers about what happened to Lucy even though there is also a hurricane churning up the coast. Once he is back in his hometown, he is reunited with his high school friends and has learned that pranks are being committed all over town. Certain people are being targeted and property is being damaged. Who is behind all of this? Why do the pranks/destruction of property seem personal?

    Nate and his friends also go visit the "Night Ship" which sits alongside the pier. It is the stuff of legends. Bad things happened on the night ship and Nate and his friends: Tom, Johnny, Owen and Lucy, grew up hearing the stories and singing the songs about two twin girls. The group used to hang out there and Nate and Lucy used it for their late night rendezvous.

    The entire town has an eerie feel. Lucy's remains have dredged up old suspicions and thoughts about her disappearance. People look with questioning and blaming eyes. Who is to blame for her being found dead? What happened to her all of those years ago? Who is responsible for the pranks being committed around town. The pranks have become more sinister, violent and personal.

    Add all of this up with a bad storm brewing and you have the recipe for the perfect setting for when the proverbial shit hits the fan. Atmospheric and dripping with the need for vengeance, this book cooks up the perfect mystery via coming of age tale. Bodies start turning up and as Nate begins to get some answers to his questions, he also learns that there was so much more he didn't know. Can you ever really go home again? People have secrets...what happens when you learn them? When you learn the truth will it set you free or will you learn that sometimes the truth is just the truth and somethings cannot be changed?

    Whew!

    I received a copy of this book from Random House publishing - Ballantine Books and Netgally in exchange for an host review. My Thanks to them for giving me this opportunity.

    See more of my reviews at

  • Kendall

    Nate McHale known as "The Storm King" returns home to Greystone Lake after 14 years. Nate is dreading his return home with so many bad memories of his family's death and his high school friend Lucy's mysterious disappearance. Lucy's body is found and Nate finds himself as the prime suspect of her death.

    When Nate returns, he finds that his grandmother and all of his old friends are in danger including himself. The town hasn't cozied up well to Nate's return and the town is playing some pranks on

    Nate McHale known as "The Storm King" returns home to Greystone Lake after 14 years. Nate is dreading his return home with so many bad memories of his family's death and his high school friend Lucy's mysterious disappearance. Lucy's body is found and Nate finds himself as the prime suspect of her death.

    When Nate returns, he finds that his grandmother and all of his old friends are in danger including himself. The town hasn't cozied up well to Nate's return and the town is playing some pranks on Nate. Nate is determined to find out who is behind Lucy's death and the mysterious pranks in Greystone.

    The Storm King started out with a bang but unfortunately became too long until the plot was finally revealed. My attention was wavering in and out and I caught myself getting bored. I have read many mystery/thrillers and this one was just ok.. nothing that I would highly remember or recommend.

    Overall, 3 stars on this one for me.

    This was my first read by Brendan Duffy and I am glad that I was able to experience his talent.

    Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group Ballentine for an advanced arc in exchange for an honest review.

    Publication date is 2/6/18

    Published on GR: 2/2/18

  • Kaceey - Traveling Sister

    ⭐⭐⭐

    Nate is returning to his hometown after 14 years. Sadly, it’s no joyous homecoming. He’s there to attend the funeral of an old girlfriend that vanished right after high school. Can you ever leave the past behind?

    Among his group of friends Nate was known as the Storm King. Together they dished out their own version of vigilante justice through what they termed

    Their misguided quest was to right any wrongs that they came across. Usually accompanied by a not

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Nate is returning to his hometown after 14 years. Sadly, it’s no joyous homecoming. He’s there to attend the funeral of an old girlfriend that vanished right after high school. Can you ever leave the past behind?

    Among his group of friends Nate was known as the Storm King. Together they dished out their own version of vigilante justice through what they termed

    Their misguided quest was to right any wrongs that they came across. Usually accompanied by a not so healthy dose of teenage mischief. Cross your fingers that you weren’t on the receiving end of their mayhem.

    This is a slow build. More than once I considered a DNF. But, there was always just a little tid-bit that gripped me and kept me turning the pages. This book will appeal to those who like a slower-paced, deliberate suspenseful read.

    Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine and Brendan Duffy for an ARC to review in exchange for an honest review.

  • Susanne Strong

    3 Stars.

    Nate McHale “The Storm King” returns home to Greystone Lake after a Fourteen Year absence. If he had it his way, he would never return to this town. It has too many bad memories. Memories of his family’s death, memories of his High School girl friend Lucy’s disappearance and memories of the mean tricks he and his buddies used to play on people. Yet now he is returning for Lucy’s funeral - her body has been found and Nate is the prime suspect. His visit isn’t going to be fun and to top it

    3 Stars.

    Nate McHale “The Storm King” returns home to Greystone Lake after a Fourteen Year absence. If he had it his way, he would never return to this town. It has too many bad memories. Memories of his family’s death, memories of his High School girl friend Lucy’s disappearance and memories of the mean tricks he and his buddies used to play on people. Yet now he is returning for Lucy’s funeral - her body has been found and Nate is the prime suspect. His visit isn’t going to be fun and to top it off, it takes place during a Hurricane that brings Greystone Lake to its knees.

    Upon his return, Nate realizes that his grandmother and all of his old friends are in danger, including “The Storm King” himself. No one in town is happy that Nate is home and people are wrecking havoc. Just like the old days, when it was Nate and his friends who were wrecking havoc on the townsfolk and those they thought deserved it. Now the tables are turned. Nate is determined to find out who is behind the pranks and is also determined to find out who killed Lucy before they strike again. In order to do so, he must return to his old haunt, the Night Ship and what he finds there will shock him to no end.

    “The Storm King” started out strong but became convoluted and was way too long and drawn out to hold my interest. Parts of the story were enjoyable however and I enjoyed the intertwining relationships between Nate and his friends.

    Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and Brendan Duffy for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

    Published on Goodreads, Twitter and Instagram on 12.18.17.

    *Will be published on Amazon on 2.6.18.

  • Fran

    The McHales of Greystone Lake were driving into the hills for a family picnic. Nate, outfielder for the junior varsity team, hit the game winning triple and was given the game ball. The ball was placed in a basket along with peaches for the picnic. When the car swerved, the baseball became lodged under the brake pedal and the airborne car landed in the lake. Nate was the sole survivor from the family of four. A baseball had destroyed his world. For the next two years, he lived with his grandmoth

    The McHales of Greystone Lake were driving into the hills for a family picnic. Nate, outfielder for the junior varsity team, hit the game winning triple and was given the game ball. The ball was placed in a basket along with peaches for the picnic. When the car swerved, the baseball became lodged under the brake pedal and the airborne car landed in the lake. Nate was the sole survivor from the family of four. A baseball had destroyed his world. For the next two years, he lived with his grandmother.

    Nate McHale experienced a plethora of emotions ranging from survivors guilt, emptiness, agony, and rage. He was the "Boy Who Fell". Bullies converged on him, taunted him and prodded him to react. They were jealous of his "golden boy" status and wanted to bring him down. Nate, assisted by best friends Tom and Johnny, was determined to wreck havoc on "chosen targets" under the cover of storms and hurricanes. Vandalism such as burst pipes, backed-up sewerage, and broken windows were considered to be storm damage. Who could prove otherwise?

    "The Night Ship" was once the center of tourism in small town Greystone Lake. The Night Ship was now bankrupt, condemned property. That did not deter Greystone Lake kids from leaving green glow sticks as Halloween offerings to this "shrine". The Night Ship, atmospheric and perhaps haunted, was an awesome place for Nate, Tom, Johnny and Nate's girlfriend Lucy to chill. The friends attend a high school graduation party where things got out of hand. Lucy disappeared. Seemingly, Lucy had run away. Nate leaves Greystone Lake and its memories of death, loss and secrets behind when he heads for college in New York. Fourteen years have passed and Nate never returned home. He has become a successful pediatric oncologist treating his patients and their parents with love and compassion. He is a devoted husband and father.

    Nate's happiness and peace of mind become shattered and chaotic when he returns to Greystone Lake to attend the funeral of girlfriend Lucy whose body has been found in the headlands after fourteen years. Nothing good is bringing Nate to his hometown where the "lake returns what it takes". The darkness he left behind will emerge in both old and new ways.

    "The Storm King" by Brendan Duffy is an atmospheric mystery and thriller. The characters, although well fleshed out, were not very likable to me. Many of the principals did not seem redeemable. Too many occurrences were swept under the rug. Why were the so-called pranks not considered to be crimes and followed up? The happenings in this small town were too "stormy" for this reader's taste.

    Thank you Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "The Storm King".

  • Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)

    You can read all of my reviews at

    .

    :

    – It’s one of the most beautiful covers I’ve seen in a long time.

    – Greystone Lake is the perfect setting for this book. The atmosphere is picturesque and immediately ominous.

    – I found Brendan Duffy’s writing style to be straightforward and easy to read. It was smart without being pretentious and very descriptive without being flowery.

    – For the most part, I thought the book was well-paced. It was not an e

    You can read all of my reviews at

    .

    :

    – It’s one of the most beautiful covers I’ve seen in a long time.

    – Greystone Lake is the perfect setting for this book. The atmosphere is picturesque and immediately ominous.

    – I found Brendan Duffy’s writing style to be straightforward and easy to read. It was smart without being pretentious and very descriptive without being flowery.

    – For the most part, I thought the book was well-paced. It was not an edge-of-the-seat thriller but it was engaging. There were a few intense nail-biting moments toward the end.

    – I love a story that takes the protagonist home to solve a mystery. I’m drawn to old cases in which a body suddenly shows up. I love books about characters forced to reconcile with their past.

    was all of these.

    :

    – While most of the characters were well-developed, I didn’t find myself connecting to or, in truth, liking any of them.

    – This was a huge obstacle for me. What we have here is another case of an author with a great imagination putting

    into one book. I don’t want to post spoilers but there’s a part of the book that could’ve been turned into a great book in itself. As the book went on, events became more and more inconceivable.

    :

    I think

    had great potential. Brendan Duffy is a talented writer and I would definitely read his next book. My overall experience with this book was significantly impacted by the issues I had with its implausibility. I would not discourage anyone else from reading it as plausibility is very subjective and reader-specific.

    3.5/5 stars

    Many thanks to Ballantine Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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