A sudden tragedy pits neighbour against neighbour and puts one family in terrible danger.
Welcome to Maple Street, a picture-perfect slice of suburban Long Island, its residents bound by their children, their work, and their illusion of safety in a rapidly changing world. But when the Wilde family moves in, they trigger their neighbours’ worst fears. Arlo and Gertie and their weird kids don’t fit with the way Maple Street sees itself. As tensions mount, a sinkhole opens in a nearby park, and neighbourhood Queen Bee Rhea’s daughter Shelly falls inside. The search for Shelly brings a shocking accusation against the Wildes. Suddenly, it is one mother’s word against the other’s in a court of public opinion that can end only in blood.
As I’ve not yet finished the book I will update with a review ASAP but I can tell you that so far I am loving it! I’ve honestly never read anything like it before and I am riveted!
In the interim, here’s a fun guest post from the author herself, Sarah Langan.
Huge thanks to Sarah at Titan Books for inviting me to be part of this blog tour and providing a digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
You will know Me by Megan Abbott, starts with a party, where a boy is killed in a hit-and-run accident. We then follow the Knox family, who’ve built their life around their older daughter Katie, a gymnastics prodigy, despite a childhood injury. In this outrageously smart novel, Abbott delves into the psychology of her characters, the things they know, and the things they don’t know, that we as readers can see. It’s modern Highsmith, with the boring parts taken out (I’m sorry, Highsmith!).
Darktown, by Thomas Mullen, about a crime in divided Atlanta, and the newly hired black cops trying to solve it, despite adversity from the white police department, in the 1950s. It’s a system engineered for failure, where these new black cops aren’t even allowed inside their own department; where they feel the burden of defending their community, but know that if they push too far, they’ll wind up dead. The book’s an infuriating education and a wonderful mystery, as we get to learn about both sides of town, and the corrupt places where they intersect.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, about damaged Camille Preaker, who’s got to return home to Missouri to report on the murders of young women in a small town. We meet her overbearing mom, and see the places where this town still haunts her, as a delicious and shocking mystery unravels. I love a damaged heroine, and this novel deals with cutting in a responsible way. I haven’t seen much about cutting in anything else I’ve read, which I suspect is a good thing, given most female self-harm is treated so irresponsibility. Still, if the administrators at the local high school are to be believed, cutting is very common, and a real problem.
My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, about two sisters, one of whom is a beautiful murderer of men, and the other, who covers it up for her. It’s set in modern Nigeria, and we get insights into life there, and the ways in which appearance for women matters more than everything else. Women are sold for their looks, traded for them, bartered for them. Ayoola, the murdering sister, ultimately asks: why not start killing these men? We get the story from Korede’s perspective, the less beautiful sister, whose loyalty is tested, when her murdering sister starts dating the only man she’s ever loved. (Bloggers note: This is one of my most favourite books of all time! You can find my review here.)
Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. In this bonkers story, Guy and Bruno ride on a train together, and Bruno talks too much and like a nut, eventually suggesting that he kill Guy’s soon to be ex-wife for him, if Guy will kill Bruno’s dad. It’s absurd, Guy bails, and hopes never to hear from Bruno again. But then, Guy’s soon to be ex-wife turns up dead, and he gets a letter from Bruno, saying now it’s Guy’s turn. Guy makes a bad decision. He’s so afraid he’ll look bad, that he doesn’t report Bruno to the police. From here, it’s a nightmare journey for Guy. With precision and incredible psychological insight, Highsmith describes Guy’s journey into depravity. It is so much fun!
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Wishing you a bookish week,