cover image Grist Mill Road

Grist Mill Road

Christopher J. Yates. Picador, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-15028-8

Yates follows his well-received debut, Black Chalk, with an edgy, intelligent thriller that explores the aftermath of a senseless crime. In 1982, 13-year-old Matthew Weaver ties Hannah Jensen, who’s also 13, to a tree in the woods outside Roseborn, N.Y., and shoots her with a BB gun 49 times, including through the eye. Patrick “Patch” McConnell, a friend of Matthew’s, is walking nearby and hears the shots. When Patch arrives at the scene, he at first thinks Hannah is dead, but she survives her injuries. Flash forward to 2008, when all three are living in New York City. Hannah, now a crime reporter, is married to Patch, who puts all his energies into his food blog and fantasizing about getting even with the boss who recently laid him off. A chance meeting with Matthew brings to the surface the anger and violence each has repressed. The reader’s sympathies shift as each character brings a different perspective to the events that shaped them. Unexpected twists keep the tension high. Agent: Jessica Papin, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Jan.)