Kain handles the heavy topics of abuse, grief, and facing old wounds with sensitivity that doesn’t dilute the story’s impact. Gavin will resonate with readers interested in healing, even as he spirals further into his mental anguish. Exploring the effects of mental illness on not only the individual suffering from it, but those closest to him, What Lies Buried is a humane and engaging story that’s frank about the challenges of recovery. Gavin not only has to deal with his PTSD and grief but also the nagging possibility that someone is watching him as he deals with his family's estate. After discovering his family's surprise connection to the local mob syndicate, he enlists the help of his high school best friend, Trayvon, who works with the FBI.
Adding to the tension, everyone around notices Gavin's descent—his grandparents, his wife, his best friend, and his psychiatrist—but by the time they realize he might be a danger to himself, their efforts to help may come too late. Kain has crafted a fast-paced contemporary thriller that delves with insight into themes of mental health. Readers who enjoy unreliable narrators and jolting plot twists will enjoy this.
Takeaway: Psychological thriller digging into PTSD, family secrets, and generational abuse.
Comparable Titles: Erin Kelly’s Stone Mothers, Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A