The Back Road

Rachel Abbott. Amazon/Thomas & Mercer, $14.95 trade paper (492p) ISBN 978-1-4778-0775-0
Abbott’s worthy sequel to Only the Innocent (first published as an e-book in 2011) finds former Chief Insp. Tom Douglas retired to what should be a quiet life of contemplation in Little Melham. In the event, the village proves to be a hive of infidelity and betrayal, of tragic histories and old shames. One night on a back road, Abbie Campbell, a 14-year-old girl fleeing dark revelations of her own, is struck by a car and left for dead. Tom, a supporting character in this sometimes overwrought tale of modern life, suspects there’s more to the accident than meets the eye. Meanwhile, Tom’s neighbor, Ellie Saunders, discovers that a moment of weakness has left her vulnerable to blackmail. Abbott’s serviceable prose neither dazzles nor distracts the reader from Ellie’s dilemmas. Little Melham itself is full of colorful figures gifted with plot-enabling foibles and secrets, the stuff of red herrings and murder. Agent: Lizzie Kremer, David Higham Associates (U.K.). (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/05/2013
Release date: 10/08/2013
Genre: Fiction
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Paperback - 350 pages - 978-0-9576522-0-0
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