cover image Dark August

Dark August

Katie Tallo. Harper, $16.99 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-0-06-294804-5

Screenwriter and director Tallo makes her debut with an engrossing mystery. Twenty-year-old Augusta “Gus” Monet, who’s been leading an aimless life, returns to her hometown of Ottawa, Canada, after she learns of the death of her great-grandmother, Rose. When Gus was eight, Rose sent her away to boarding school after Gus’s widowed police detective mother, Shannon, died in a car accident. At Rose’s house, Gus finds a trunk filled with Shannon’s cold case files. She remembers that her mother was obsessed with local powerbroker Kep Halladay, convinced he was responsible for multiple suspicious deaths and a college student’s disappearance, but Shannon’s efforts to expose him were thwarted at every turn by Halladay’s wealth and connections. When a body is unearthed that’s connected with one of the cold cases in the trunk, Gus gets on the same investigative trail as Shannon, and in so doing unleashes a terrifying and violent chain of events. Distinctive characters and an intricate plot will keep readers turning the pages. Tallo is off to a promising start. Agent: David P. Halpern, Robbins Office. (June)