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.
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