It all started when we found the body.
Then nothing was ever the same.
The Dry meets Stand by Me and True Detective in this stunningly written tale of the darkness at the heart of a small mid-Western town and the four kids who uncover it.
In the heatwave summer of 1971, four kids find a body by a lake and set out to solve a murder. But they dig too deep and ask too many questions.
Larson is a town reeling in the wake of the Vietnam draft, where the unrelenting heat ruins the harvest, and the people teeter on the edge of ruin.
As tension and paranoia run rife, rumours become fact, violence becomes reflex. The unrest allows the dark elements of the close-knit farming community to rise and take control.
And John, Jenny, Gloria and Rudy are about to discover that sometimes secrets are best left uncovered…
‘Wonderfully evocative … written with a heart-breaking intensity that lingers in the mind’ Daily Mail
'A summer bonfire of a book which draws you into its dark heart and holds you there’ Sarah Hilary
‘With notes of To Kill A Mockingbird (without the wise adults) and Stand By Me … a town’s dark underbelly is revealed’ Emerald Street
‘Bitter Sun is a tragic tour de force that held me spellbound for weeks. A savage coming-of-age story so beautifully told. I cannot recommend it highly enough’ Chris Whitaker, author of Tall Oaks
‘A beautifully written, atmospheric and evocative thriller full of heartbreak and nostalgia’ SJI Holliday
‘I loved Bitter Sun. Beautifully written, raw and heart-wrenching’ Roz Watkins
‘Beating with a dark, menacing heart, Bitter Sun is sure to delight readers of Stephen King and Jim Thompson. Lewis's writing is like taking a punch to the gut – evocative, visceral and wholly uncompromising. She is, undoubtedly, one the finest new writers around’ G X Todd
Praise for Beth Lewis:
‘The protagonist is one of the strongest females that I’ve read… For a fast and adventurous book, with unusual characters, this will be a good summer read for you.’ Robin Hobb
‘What a voice Elka has, marvellously sustained’ Rob Ewing, author of The Last of Us
‘Arresting … Lewis takes the reader on an odyssey that highlights the striking wilderness landscape and Elka's grit' Publishers Weekly
‘The Wolf Road is an extraordinary novel – dark and funny and full of wild energy. Elka is a brilliant creation – fierce and vulnerable at the same time. Her story and her voice pull you in from the first page and never let you go. Gripping and unforgettable’ Antonia Hodgson, author of The Devil in the Marshalsea
About the author
Beth Lewis was raised in the wilds of Cornwall and split her childhood between books and the beach. She has travelled extensively and has had close encounters with black bears, killer whales, and Great White sharks. She has been, at turns, a bank cashier, fire performer, juggler, and is currently a Commissioning Editor at a leading London publisher. Her debut, The Wolf Road, was shortlisted for the inaugural Glass Bell Award. Bitter Sun is her second novel.