Winston Barnes, Sheriff of a Coastal North Carolina town in the 1980s, is investigating a plane crash. The pilot, passengers, and cargo have disappeared, a young black man is dead, and everyone is a suspect. At the same time, racial tension is exploding in the town, and the Sheriff’s daughter has left her husband and returned home. To top it all off, the Sheriff is in the middle of running for re-election.
This is a mystery told from multiple points of view, but also the story of a town torn apart by racism and corruption. Racism is the main theme, but the issue of grief is also explored. The author gives us a look deep into the hearts of the characters, especially Jay, Ed Bellamy, Winston, and Colleen. Not many mysteries can touch the heart, but this one does by baring the souls of the characters so well.
It is written with the slow, rhythmical pace of a small town, but will occasionally reach out and slap you in the face with a shock or surprise, just as life will sometimes do. Fans of mysteries will enjoy this novel, but anyone who loves a well-developed story with complex characters should give this a read.
I received a free copy of this book from William Morrow and Custom House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
The photo on the cover is very relevant to the book. I’ve gotten used to graphic design on the covers, which I think might pop a little more than photos, but the colors in the clouds do stand out. Since Cash is already a best-selling author, is the cover still just as important? What does everyone else think?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wiley Cash is the New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind Than Home. He’s been a fellow at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and he teaches fiction writing and literature at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, where he serves as Alumni Author-in-Residence. His new novel, When Ghosts Come Home, will be available September 21. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, photographer Mallory Cash, and their daughters.
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