cover image The Gates of Evangeline

The Gates of Evangeline

Hester Young. Putnam, $26.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-399-17400-1

In Young’s haunting, heartbreaking, yet ultimately hopeful debut, the first in a trilogy, Charlotte “Charlie” Cates has disturbing dreams in which unknown children appeal to the divorced Stamford, Conn., journalist for her help; she takes this as evidence of just how thoroughly she has lost it in the months since her four-year-old son, Keegan, died suddenly from a brain aneurysm at his preschool. But that doesn’t explain why Charlie seems to be picturing events that haven’t yet happened—or the eerie dream about a tiny, abused boy adrift with her in a boat on a bayou, which she has the night after being asked to write a true-crime book about the notorious never-solved 1982 disappearance of two-year-old Gabriel Deveau from his family’s Louisiana estate, Evangeline. Several weeks later, she travels to Evangeline, where she investigates a case that, though old, may not be all that cold. Young handles the spectral elements with restraint as her tremendously sympathetic heroine seeks to build a new life after death. Agent: Esmond Harmsworth, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. (Sept.)