Beyond the Garden Gate by Jo Bradley

four stars

Beyond the Garden Gate by Jo Bradley tells the story of Dave, a father of two struggling with a crumbling marriage and career. Dave’s misfortune quickly worsens when his unfaithful wife is mysteriously killed and he is charged with her murder. After years in prison for a crime he did not commit, Dave is determined to piece his life back together, reconnect with his children, and uncover the truth about his wife’s death. However, these goals prove harder than anticipated as Dave encounters characters with ulterior motives which leads to half-truths and paves a convoluted path to justice.

Readers are witness to the downfall and ultimate rise of a man as he navigates deeply traumatic events steeped in mystery. Although Dave’s journey is at times unbelievable, as the magnitude of his bad fortune is hard to fathom, readers nonetheless find themselves rooting for Dave through his many trials. The characters Bradley introduces us to in Beyond the Garden Gate are not what they seem. Dave’s relationships take sharp turns, riddling the plot with shock and intrigue; those close to Dave betray him while those who were once Dave’s enemies come to his aid. This theme spurs readers to reflect on the nature of their own relationships and how good and evil can manifest. Within Beyond the Garden Gate, Bradley builds a complex web of interconnectedness between the characters and the strange events that unfold. Every scene and conversation is significant, a deliberate move by Bradley that makes his suspenseful read worth a thorough read.