cover image Fierce Little Thing

Fierce Little Thing

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. Flatiron, $27.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-250-77942-7

After 12-year-old Saskia’s father goes to prison for her little brother’s murder and her mother decamps to Mexico in this haunting psychological thriller from bestseller Beverly-Whittemore (June), Saskia goes to live in a Manhattan loft with her friend Xavier. While Xavier’s mother is traveling, his father, an eccentric artist, decides that he and the kids should summer in Maine at a lakeside commune dubbed Home. Saskia quickly falls under the thrall of the commune’s charismatic leader and finds a sense of belonging she’d do anything to preserve. Twenty-five years later, reclusive Saskia is sequestered inside her Connecticut home when Xavier comes knocking: someone has been writing to Home’s former teen residents, threatening to tell the world about the crime they committed unless all five of them return. Saskia’s evocative, elegiac narration cycles rapidly between past and present, escalating pace and imparting suspense while developing the keenly rendered characters and their thorny histories. Not every revelation feels earned, but on balance, Beverly-Whittemore delivers a twisty, rewarding tale of friendship, secrets, and childhood trauma. Donna Tartt fans, take note. [em]Agent: Anne Hawkins, John Hawkins & Assoc. (July) [/em]