cover image The Winslow Incident

The Winslow Incident

Elizabeth Voss. Five Star, $25.95 (498p) ISBN 978-1-4328-2546-1

Voss’s debut blends horror and suspense to little effect. In the summer of 2010, the small town of Winslow, Wash., suffers a series of inexplicable events, beginning with the sudden death of cattle in Pard Holloway’s herd, perhaps from mad cow disease. When 17-year-old Hazel Winslow threatens to raise concerns about possible tainted beef, Pard, who’s her uncle, threatens to reveal the truth behind the death of town baker Hawkin Rhone five years earlier—a truth that could jeopardize the freedom of Hazel’s boyfriend, Sean Adair. As whatever afflicted the livestock appears to spread to the local human population, evidence mounts that something other than mad cow disease might be at work. The odd behavior of Hazel’s neighbors offers only mild chills, a fatal defect in a book that depends on consistently generating fear. (Dec.)