The Unforgotten

Laura Powell. Gallery, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5011-8122-1
In her thoroughly satisfying and suspenseful debut, Powell offers a twisty, dark murder mystery that is as much about taboos and secrets as it is a whodunit. Fifteen-year-old Betty Broadbent’s Cornish village, St. Steele, is usually fairly quiet. But when a series of young women are brutally murdered in the area during the summer of 1956, the coastal community—not to mention the inn managed by Betty’s volatile and promiscuous mother—is inundated by journalists. One of them, a Mr. Gallagher, takes an interest in Betty that quickly goes beyond mere friendship and that affects the shape not only of the investigation but also of both their lives. Scenes from that brutal and eventful summer are interspersed with a more contemporary narrative set 50 years later, in which a woman known as Mary—recently diagnosed with breast cancer—grows increasingly determined to connect with a figure she once knew in St. Steele. While some of the narrative’s revelations will come as little surprise, others are genuinely unnerving. And the final twist in the murder plot will catch many readers unaware, as will the surprising emotional heft of the narrative, which traces the damage wrought by secrets and good intentions gone awry. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/27/2017
Release date: 02/06/2018
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-84391-573-7
Ebook - 978-1-5011-8123-8
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-910449-59-2
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