SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET.
SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.
Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.
And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.
The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The "prince" of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.
He is also a psychopath.
A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau's evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend's headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.
As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux.
And that someone will pay with their life.
WARNING: Readers of Death by the River will encounter situations of violence and sexual abuse/rape which could be upsetting.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Dark and infinitely compelling
Every now and then comes a novel that rises above storytelling for mere entertainment and acts as a critical commentary of social mores. I couldn’t put this book down not only because the story and the characters were so compelling and well-written, but also because the topic is near and dear to my heart. Sexual assault and relationship violence among high schoolers is not a “boys will be boys” and “teens will be teens” situation that can or should be easily shrugged off or dismissed. There are real and terrible consequences to ignoring such behavior; something that the characters here discover at their peril.
In the beginning, Beau Devereaux has the world at his feet. He’s the star quarterback on his high school’s football team, he’s dating the popular captain of the cheerleading squad, and his family’s wealth has made the town into his own personal kingdom. Everyone looks to the Devereauxes for economic sustenance, and everyone looks to Beaux to be the next great business and community leader that his father has been. And, most importantly to Beaux, he is the king of the river, the place where all the area kids go to party. He has it all. Almost.
Every move, gesture, word, action, and expression are carefully watched by all the adults surrounding him, either to praise him or to keep him under control. Because while Beaux has most of the town fooled, some see him for what he really is: a monstrous volcano ready to explode. He wants what he can’t have and as his urges grow stronger and darker, his carefully crafted image is about to morph into something else entirely.
Its both disturbing and fascinating to see into the mind of a psychopath as he manipulates, schemes, and effortlessly switches between personas. The authors, one of whom includes a thoughtful essay on the main subject, are quite good at enveloping the reader into the characters’ emotional worlds. The need to know what was going to happen to them and what decisions they were going to make kept me hungrily turning the pages. Even though there was some foreshadowing of what would happen in the end, there was a twist that I didn’t entirely see coming, which was a delightful surprise.
This is one that will stay with me long afterwards. When a book gets under my skin like this one did, then I know it’s top notch. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys true crime, suspense, and psychological thrillers.