Winner of the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller and Winner of the 2015 Edgar Award for Best First Novel.
When an elderly recluse discovers a corpse on his land, Officer Henry Farrell is drawn into a murder investigation that might tear his sleepy community apart. Tom Bouman's chilling and evocative debut introduces one of the most memorable new characters in detective fiction and uncovers a haunting section of rural Pennsylvania, where gas drilling is bringing new wealth and eroding neighborly trust.
Although set in northeastern Pennsylvania, Bouman's outstanding debut has the feel of a western. Officer Henry Farrell became the head policeman in Wild Thyme Township because he expected it to be an easy job with hunting and fishing taking up most of his time. But uneasiness has settled into the economically depressed area with an active drug trade, including home-brewed meth. Drilling for natural gas is bringing money to the region, but this new wealth affects only a few residents, pitting neighbor against neighbor while potentially destroying the land. The discovery of a stranger's body on a disused dairy farm owned by elderly hermit Aub Dunigan, followed by the murder of a policeman, heightens the tension among the residents. Henry's growth from a grief-stricken widower to a lawman with an inner resolve fuels the brisk plot, as does an evocative look at a changing landscape.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Living the story line
Being part of the community; mixing with the characters and events, the participants come alive in my imagination. Great descriptive artistry!
Dry Bones in the Valley
Lyrical. A mystery cloaked in elegant prose. Thoroughly enjoyed this read.