Bad Blood & a Tangled Web
It has been a long time since NYC detective, Jennifer Riley (Stefanie von Pfetten - The Gourmet Detective: A Healthy Place to Die) has been home to Thornwood Heights but that is where she ends up after her sister, Lauren (Ferelith Young), is arrested for a murder. Leaving her boyfriend, Santos (Tahmoh Penikett - Angel of Christmas), in the city she returns to town to try and prove her sister is innocent even though her return is less than popular with some of the locals. It is whilst there she also finds herself trying to solve an old case involving the disappearance of her best friend, Abbey, 20 years ago which led to her mining magnate father accusing her of foul play. But an encounter with a former boyfriend makes life all the more complicated.
Let me list what goes on in "Deadly Secrets by the Lake"; we have a murder in a home town, a former resident returns to try and investigate due to a sister being blamed, we have someone sending threats to her to get her to leave, we have the local chief of police telling her to stop, we have old bad feelings involving a missing person, old blame, old rumours and an old flame. Yes there is a lot of plot in "Deadly Secrets by the Lake" yet none of it is out of the ordinary and feels like a lot of ideas from various movies being combined which seeing this is a LMN - Harlequin collaboration that isn't surprising.
What this means is that "Deadly Secrets by the Lake" has a feeling of almost being an epic made for TV movie because it has so much going on, skulduggery, romance, melodrama, murder, mystery, old wounds and more. On top of that we have plenty of characters all who are played in the slightly over the top melodramatic way, well there is no way other than melodramatic to deliver some of the movie's dialogue. But with plenty of characters we have a lot of familiar faces all delivering good performances with Stefanie von Pfetten leading the movie nicely.
What this all boils down to is that "Deadly Secrets by the Lake" is certainly entertaining thanks to it being a TV movie cram packed with plot, characters and melodrama. Unfortunately whilst it has a lot going on it isn't anything overly special and is more a case of a lot of familiarity worked together.