cover image Lay Your Body Down

Lay Your Body Down

Amy Suiter Clarke. Morrow, $30 (352p) ISBN 978-0-358-41831-3

In this enthralling psychological thriller from Clarke (Girl, 11), 26-year-old Del Walker, who has been “bouncing around minimum wage jobs” since she graduated college, opens a days-old voicemail from former flame Lars Obam, whom she hasn’t seen in years. His message is cryptic: “I need to talk to you. You... you were right.” A quick internet search turns up news that Lars has died in a hunting accident and the funeral will be held in Del’s hometown of Bower, Minn. Though she vowed never to return home, harboring major resentment toward the cultish local pastor, Del suspects foul play after hearing Lars’s voicemail and knows she must go back to uncover the truth about his death. Del is a dynamic narrator, and Clarke augments her musings with excerpts from her teenage diary and blog posts written by Lars’s wife, in which she presents the teachings of Bower’s sinister pastor. All of this intrigues, though the ending might strike readers as a touch too predictable. Still, this salacious mix of small-town cults and amateur sleuthing is mostly satisfying. Agent: Sharon Pelletier; Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (June)