Lori Roy’s new “literary suspense” novel, noteworthy for its midwestern setting and gothic sensibility, has garnered rave reviews all around. This is probably not one that teens will find on their own, so point it out it to readers who love a good, creepy mystery.
Adult/High School–Arthur Scott grew up in a small town in Kansas in the 1950s, but fled to the big city of Detroit after the death of one of his younger sisters, Eve. Now it’s the mid ‘60s, and Detroit has become a dangerous place to live, with race riots and black boys calling his teenage daughter, Elaine, on the telephone. So Arthur packs up his wife, Celia, and their children, Elaine, Daniel, and young Evie, and moves them back to an unexplored familial landscape of pain. No one in the Kansas community, it seems, has forgotten the petite, golden-haired sister who died so mysteriously. And now Arthur’s own daughter Evie evokes memories of the lost girl. The story is told through multiple viewpoints: Daniel, who is becoming a man in this new place of masculine bravado; Evie, fascinated by the clothing of the dead aunt who carried the same name; and Ruth, Arthur’s sister, who married Ray, the brute who loved Eve and may have killed other young blondes in her memory. From this ominous beginning, life on Bent Road becomes increasingly shrouded in long-kept family secrets and violence. Although the teenage daughter is the least-developed character in Arthur’s family, the taut, psychological tension that propels this novel will grip fans of authors such as Dean Koontz and Tana French.–Diane Colson, New Port Richey Library, FL