“Compelling, fast-paced.” —Library Journal, starred review
“Stellar.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A page-turner.” —Kirkus Reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Oprah Book Club pick Back Roads comes this fast-paced literary thriller about a small town police chief who’s forced to dig into her own shadowy past as she investigates the murder of a teenage girl.
On the surface, Chief Dove Carnahan is a true trailblazer who would do anything to protect the rural Pennsylvanian countryside where she has lived all fifty of her years. Traditional and proud of her blue-collar sensibilities, Dove is loved by her community. But beneath her badge lies a dark and self-destructive streak, fed by a secret she has kept since she was sixteen.
When a girl is beaten to death, her body tossed down a fiery sinkhole in an abandoned coal town, Dove is faced with solving the worst crime of her law enforcement career. She identifies the girl as a daughter of the Truly family, a notoriously irascible dynasty of rednecks and petty criminals.
During her investigation, the man convicted of killing Dove’s mother years earlier is released from prison. Still proclaiming his innocence, he approaches Dove with a startling accusation and a chilling threat that forces her to face the parallels between her own family’s trauma and that of the Trulys.
With countless accolades to her credit, author Tawni O’Dell writes with the “fearless insights” (The New York Times Book Review) she brought to the page in Back Roads and One of Us. In this new, masterfully told psychological thriller, the past and present collide to reveal the extent some will go to escape their fate, and in turn, the crimes committed to push them back to where they began.
At the start of this emotionally charged novel from bestseller O'Dell (One of Us), police chief Dove Carnahan and her officers gather at a horrific crime scene in the abandoned mining town of Campbell's Run, Pa. Stuck in a hole in the ground is the body of a teenage girl, badly burned on her upper torso, who's later identified as 17-year-old Camio Truly. With the aid of Corporal Nolan Greely, a detective in the state police Criminal Investigations Division, Dove seeks to learn all she can about Camio from the members of the girl's extended blue-collar family. The Trulys are uncooperative, and their distrust of Dove is all too evident. Yet Dove is determined to discover who among this apathetic and hate-filled clan may have had a motive to kill Camio. Meanwhile, Lucky, the man who decades earlier murdered Dove's beautiful, promiscuous mother, is released from prison. O'Dell does a stellar job of depicting the despair of those who live in a blighted rural community, while providing a complex study of the human soul and the fragile line that's crossed when someone chooses to end another person's life.
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Great Character Driven Novel
A brutal murder opens this book with a bang. Veteran Police Chief Dove Carnahan has her hands full trying to solve the murder of Camio Truly and deal with her own emotional family crisis. Dove and her sister Neely have secrets; secrets that have been hidden for many years; a murdered mother, emotional scares from a neglected childhood, deep scares involving their brother, the ex-con convicted murderer returning to town declaring his innocence demanding they tell why she and Neely lied in court, their brother Champ has returned home after years with a son in tow, and the Truly's have dark terrible secrets that are circling around them; will all the secrets come to the light of day or will they remain buried?
Secrets and mysteries are a theme in this story that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to ferret out the underlying secrets and lies. Ms. O’Dell masterfully leads you through the many layers of this story as she weaves the past and present to create a psychological thriller of the first order that intrigues the reader. Ms. O’Dell blended mystery, thriller, murder, family secrets, and lies into a well-developed story. Her character development and pacing was excellent as she showcases small town life and family relations from the richest to the poorest, the secrets they hide and the lives they lead.
You will not want to put this book down. Ms. O’Dell even throws in a little romance to the mix, along with many twists and turns. This was an excellent well-rounded character driven read.
I received this book from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an honest review.