Ash Falls

Warren Read. Ig (Consortium, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (296p) ISBN 978-1-63246-047-9
In Read’s dark and suspenseful debut novel, the folks of the Pacific Northwest mountain town of Ash Falls wonder what convicted murderer and escaped convict Ernie Luntz will do if he comes back home. And they have plenty to worry about. Ernie escapes custody from a car crash during a routine prisoner transfer, disappearing into the mountains. In Ash Falls, Ernie’s ex-wife, Bobbie, is the high school nurse. She has concerns about their son, Patrick, and the illegal drugs she uses. Hank Kelleher, former high school teacher, now a marijuana dealer, has a soft spot for Bobbie, and worries that Ernie may have known all along. And Patrick is conflicted over his father’s unexpected freedom and his hidden wish for him to be recaptured. The townspeople remembers the killing and are consumed with sweaty fear or perverse curiosity, most wishing they lived somewhere else. The sassy, trashy, and very smart motel maid, Roxanne, has seen it all unfold and understands better than anyone: “People walk around this town like a bunch of trapped animals, but the only one trapping them is themselves.” The story culminates with a drug deal gone bad, and then Ernie comes back into town. This is a well-crafted, subtle psychological thriller. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/17/2017
Release date: 06/01/2017
Ebook - 296 pages - 978-1-63246-048-6
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