The Next Time You See Me

Holly Goddard Jones. Touchstone, $24.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4516-8336-3
When Ronnie Eastman disappears from a small southern town in 1993, the residents start revealing their true characters, in Jones’s transparent debut novel (after Girl Trouble, a short story collection). Ronnie’s sister, Susanna, disappointed with her marriage and life, regrets not pursuing her teenage crush because of her father’s racism. That crush, a local baseball star named Tony, is now a detective assigned to find Ronnie. Tony and Susanna’s close proximity to each other for the first time in years brings the old feelings rushing back. Paralleling the story of the search is the story of Emily, a local teenager, awkward and teased, who finds a body a few days before Halloween. Emily is nursing her own crush, on a boy who just moved to the school, and rather than reporting her gruesome find, she uses it as a way to get closer to him. And Wyatt is a local factory worker, living a lonely life until he meets Sarah, a nurse he thinks he might be able to love. All of these lives connect through the search for Ronnie, with consequences for them all. Jones ties together the narratives effectively, cycling point-of-view between the three main players, but her characters are underdeveloped and there’s little doubt about the identity of the killer. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents Inc. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/24/2012
Release date: 02/12/2013
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Hardcover - 372 pages - 978-1-78239-083-1
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