"A first-rate thriller . . . Past and present merge in The Current, Tim Johnston's atmospheric, exquisitely suspenseful novel of two murders separated by ten years."
—The Washington Post
“Gripping . . . Johnston’s masterful novel is worth lingering over—it soars above the constraints of a traditional thriller and pulls you deep into the secrets of a grief-stricken town.”
Tim Johnston, whose breakout debut Descent was called “astonishing,” “dazzling,” and “unforgettable” by critics, returns with The Current, a tour de force about the indelible impact of a crime on the lives of innocent people.
In the dead of winter, outside a small Minnesota town, state troopers pull two young women and their car from the icy Black Root River. One is found downriver, drowned, while the other is found at the scene—half frozen but alive.
What happened was no accident, and news of the crime awakens the community’s memories of another young woman who lost her life in the same river ten years earlier, and whose killer may still live among them.
Determined to find answers, the surviving young woman soon realizes that she’s connected to the earlier unsolved case by more than just a river, and the deeper she plunges into her own investigation, the closer she comes to dangerous truths, and to the violence that simmers just below the surface of her hometown.
Grief, suspicion, the innocent and the guilty—all stir to life in this cold northern town where a young woman can come home, but still not be safe. Brilliantly plotted and unrelentingly propulsive, The Current is a beautifully realized story about the fragility of life, the power of the past, and the need, always, to fight back.
At the start of this outstanding thriller from bestseller Johnston (Descent), Audrey Sutter, a student at an unnamed Southern college, asks to borrow bus money from her friend Caroline Price so she can get home to see her father, Tom, who's dying of lung cancer in Minnesota. Instead, Caroline, a Georgia native, offers to drive Audrey the 700 miles north. A few miles from Audrey's hometown, Caroline's SUV plunges into the icy Black Root River, killing her; Audrey survives. Tom, the town's former sheriff, wonders if the vehicle was pushed. The case echoes back to the death of 19-year-old Holly Burke, whose body was found in the same river a decade earlier. Tom has never forgotten the unsolved case, and Holly's father, Gordon, still blames the ex-sheriff for not proving that a local teenager killed his daughter. Johnston imbues each character with believable motives. The nuanced plot delves deep into how a community and surviving relatives deal with the aftermath of a death. 100,000-copy announced first printing; 15-city author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book only rates 1 star from me as I strongly object to new authors who are following the apparent trend of absent punctuation especially quotation marks in conversation, the absence of chapter identification and separation, page long paragraphs, and generally the dumbing down of good and proper established writing rules and style.
It’s as if new writers feel they need to do something different to stand out from the crowd and not being confidant that their storyline can do it alone they do quirky and distracting slaughter to punctuation and format causing the reader to have to pause and figure out who is speaking or figure out the scene has changed, disrupting the flow of concentration on the mystery.
And while the the book gets a 5-Star rating from me for plot , I will not read another book by this author, in protest. Being a professor does not validate the sloppy writing ... just because you can, does not mean you should.
I’m a life long serious reader, a former psychiatric nurse and commercial realtor, and reader of NY Times Best Sellers, biographies, historical novels, sagas, crime thrillers, motivational and spiritual books.
You have a really good thriller instinct and I hope you will clean up your writing technique.