Guy Morpuss have paid tribute to Agatha Christie in this fascinating murder mystery. The story is set in the near future where a billionaire Lincoln Shah reveals revolutionary technology known as hard light which lets people to project themselves anywhere in the world by using a small disc.
A storm causes power failure at Black Lake Manor during the showcase. The power outage revealed that the guests which appears more than 100 are actually just six people. The people are trapped in the manor until the storm stops. Things take disturbing turn when the billionaire is found dead in his office. Now the remaining individuals have to solve the mystery of this murder. The mystery is complicated as the killer can manipulate the time. Black Lake Manor is Guy Morpuss’s 2nd novel after his debut novel titled Five Minds which is a psychological dystopian thriller. The concept of a murder in a single room is pretty exciting especially the fact that the killer is a time-traveler. One of the main issues here lies with the main protagonist i.e. Ella who is an investigator who lack the qualification to be an investigator. Ella is a disgraced Navy officer who is specializing in marine biology. She has been thrust into the investigation though her involvement will do more harm than any good.
The story on the other hand also intertwines with a parallel narrative which is set in 1804, following the captain of shipwreck that has been trapped underneath the Black Lake. The subplot gives an intriguing perspective on the survival and it connects to characters as well as legends surrounding the time travel ability of the killer.
All in all, Black Lake Manor falls into the land of standard murder mystery relying in its time traveling ploy. Without this ploy it offers very little that differentiates it from other genres. The book would have benefitted from focusing more on one-room mystery rather than distracting the attention to time manipulation. You can consider it an average read but the ones who are fascinated by time-travelling murder mystery may find it interesting.