cover image The Star and the Strange Moon

The Star and the Strange Moon

Constance Sayers. Redhook, $30 (448p) ISBN 978-0-316-49374-1

Sayers (The Ladies of the Secret Circus) returns with a wonderfully creepy tale of ambition, loss, and the lure of an unsolved mystery. From a young age, Christopher Kent learned to take care of both himself and his unstable mother as they moved from motel to motel. Then she has a breakdown that he can neither handle nor conceal, triggered by seeing a photo of Gemma Turner, a Hollywood starlet who disappeared in the 1960s. Before this incident, Christopher had never heard of Gemma, but afterward, he makes researching her his life’s work, determined to uncover the connection between Gemma and his mother. This obsession lands him in film school—and, eventually, scores him an elusive invite to a private screening of Gemma’s final film, the experimental French horror flick L’Étrange Lune, a movie shrouded in intrigue. Gemma’s own timeline is interwoven throughout as filming for L’Étrange Lune goes horrifically awry. Sayers masterfully weaves a tale of multigenerational secrets, creating an enticing dance between past and present that will keep readers on edge. The psychological depth Sayers brings to the core mystery invites comparisons to Gillian Flynn, while the lost horror film at the center of the plot will put readers in mind of Sylvia Moreno-Garcia’s Silver Nitrate. Agent: Roz Foster, Frances Goldin Literary. (Nov.)