cover image The Boy

The Boy

Tami Hoag. Dutton, $28 (416p) ISBN 978-1-101-98539-7

Early in bestseller Hoag’s thoughtful, character-driven sequel to 1997’s A Thin Dark Line, Nick Fourcade, a detective with the Bayou Breaux, La., police department, arrives at “a small, sad rectangle of cheap siding and asphalt shingles squatting on concrete block pilings in a yard of dirt and weeds.” Inside is the body of seven-year-old KJ Gauthier. The boy, dressed in Spider-Man pajamas, is lying in a pool of blood in his bedroom, stabbed some 10 times in the chest and face. His 27-year-old mother, Genevieve, escaped from the assailant and is in the hospital being questioned by Nick’s wife and fellow detective, Annie Broussard. The detectives wonder: Why kill the boy and let a witness go? The subsequent disappearance of 12-year-old Nora Florette, KJ’s babysitter, gives the members of the small community of Bayou Breaux even more reason to be fearful. Meanwhile, tension between Nick and the new sheriff of Partout Parish, Kelvin Dutrow, “an outsider, a usurper; too stiff, too arrogant, too brash,” complicates the investigation. Hoag keeps the twists and turns coming all the way to the shocking conclusion. Agent: Andrea Cirillo, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Dec.)