Readers will be intrigued by the town’s air of mystery and Boo’s conviction, as odd occurrences mount, that she’s being gaslit. Boo takes a winding path that explores her family’s violent Prohibition roots and leads her inadvertently to discover the truth about the night that Roy died. The history, particularly as it relates to present-day events, can at times be tricky to follow, but Church’s hints of a coming revelation (clues include a bloody bandana and a Photoshopped image of Roy) push the reader forward. While the prose at times can be choppy, Church crafts a mystery rich with unease and an exhilarating climax while also offering a bold portrait of Canadian lake life.
The most enthralling element of the mystery is the way in which Church stirs reader suspicion toward many characters before ultimately unmasking a villain. Boo doesn’t know who to trust, and neither will the reader. This conflict intensifies when she develops romantic feelings for two different men, both potentially suspects. The wild, dark setting, unavenged death, and complicated history make Boo’s trip an appealing mystery full of suspense and intrigue.
Takeaway: Mystery readers will be hooked by the unresolved death and quiet intrigue of this lakeside thriller.
Great for fans of: Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places, Karen M. McManus’s One of Us Is Lying.
Design and typography: B+
Marketing copy: B