Sunday, February 5, 2023

Locust Lane by Stephen Amidon


Title: Locust Lane 
Author: Stephen Amidon
Publisher:  Celadon Books
Release Date: January 17, 2023


For fans of Mystic River by Dennis Lehane and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Stephen Amidon’s Locust Lane is a taut and utterly propulsive story about the search for justice and the fault lines of power and influence in a seemingly idyllic town. Can anyone be trusted?

On the surface, Emerson, Massachusetts, is just like any other affluent New England suburb. But when a young woman is found dead in the nicest part of town, the powerful neighbors close ranks to keep their families safe. In this searing novel, Eden Perry’s death kicks off an investigation into the three teenagers who were partying with her that night, each a suspect. Hannah, a sweet girl with an unstable history. Jack, the popular kid with a mean streak. Christopher, an outsider desperate to fit in. Their parents, each with motivations of their own, only complicate the picture: they will do anything to protect their children, even at the others’ expense.

With a brilliantly woven, intricately crafted plot that gathers momentum on every page, this is superb storytelling told in terse prose—a dynamic read that is both intensely gripping and deeply affecting.

I have mixed feelings about this one. It was a slow-burn novel that kept me interested but the ending lost me, so a three-star rating is where this one falls for me.

Welcome to Emerson where money talks and using privilege can always keep you on top!

Eden Perry, a teenager has been found dead. She was known to be difficult although before she was murdered, she had started turning her life around. She had moved in with family members who were helping her since she couldn't see eye to eye with her mother.

The last people who saw her alive were three teenagers: Hannah, Christopher, and Jack. Jack came from a rich family and he believed everything was owed to him. Hannah was Jack's girlfriend and she was willing to do anything for him. Last, there is Christopher, the son of a local chef who becomes the prime suspect.

The parents of all three teenagers in one way or another will interfere with the investigation.

What I disliked included the portrayal of the cops with a one-track mind, one-dimensional to say the least. And as I mentioned earlier, I didn't like the ending. It was quite depressing.

What I enjoyed was getting to know the darkest part of these characters. No one was completely innocent. They all had shades of darkness. The narrator, Cassandra Campbell, did a wonderful job of bringing them to life. 

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Celadon Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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