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No suspects. No persons of interest.

Just a girl who was alive one day and dead the next.


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“Fans of contemporary suspense will enjoy this brisk read.”


"Horrible things happen in Donlea’s…debut, starting with the murder of first-year law student Becca Eckersley." 
—Publishers Weekly


"Donlea keeps readers guessing throughout. The whodunit plot is clever and compelling . . . for fans of nonstop mysteries with a twist.”
—Library Journal


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SUMMIT LAKE, Official Trailer
From Film 14 Directed by David Formentin

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Set in a small, picturesque North Carolina town, Charlie Donlea’s suspenseful debut novel tells the haunting story of a murdered law school student, the reporter assigned to her story—and the intimate connection that comes when the living walk in the footsteps of the dead.


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No suspects.

No persons of interest.

Just a girl who was

alive one day
and dead the next.


S U M M A R Y 

Some places seem too beautiful to be touched by horror. Summit Lake, nestled in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains,  is that kind of place.


But two weeks ago, Becca Eckersley, a first-year law student and daughter of a powerful attorney, was brutally murdered there. Now the town is reeling with grief, and the police are baffled.

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At first, investigative reporter Kelsey Castle thinks of the assignment
as a fluff piece. But the savagery of the crime, and the efforts to keep it quiet, hint at something far more sinister than a random attack by a stranger.


As Kelsey digs deeper, despite danger and warnings, she feels a growing connection to the dead girl. And the more she learns about Becca’s friendships, her love life—and her secrets—the more convinced she becomes that walking in Becca’s footsteps could lead her out of her own dark past…

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Summit Lake Audio Book

"A brilliant, haunting thriller in which The Lovely Bones meets The Silence of the Lambs—with a bit of Twin Peaks thrown in for good measure! Charlie Donlea weaves a unique, spellbinding tale about a bond between two fascinating women—one living, one dead. Full of unexpected twists and turns, Summit Lake is an irresistible page-turner." 

—Kevin O'Brien, New York Times bestselling author

"Charlie Donlea has written a riveting novel, layered with secrets and intrigue. He reveals his story through Becca Eckersley, the young law student who was murdered, and Kelsey Castle, the tenacious reporter working to bring a killer into the light.  Donlea weaves his dual narrative together seamlessly for a gripping and tense mystery. "

—Allen Eskens, author of 
The Life We

"An exciting debut, with all the right touches, captivating from the first page to the last. There’s a bright future ahead for this newcomer to the thriller genre—definitely a talent to watch.”
—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author

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