cover image Those We Left Behind

Those We Left Behind

Stuart Neville. Soho Crime, $27.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-61695-636-3

At the start of this searing, deeply affecting psychological thriller set in Belfast from Edgar-finalist Neville (Ratlines), 19-year-old Ciaran Devine (aka the schoolboy killer) is released from prison after serving seven years for the murder of his foster father, David Rolston. Det. Chief Insp. Serena Flanagan always believed that Ciaran, then 12, confessed in order to protect his two-year-older brother, Thomas, who was convicted as an accessory and alleged that their foster father sexually abused Ciaran. Try as she might, Serena couldn’t break Thomas’s powerful hold on Ciaran. Now Thomas is also free, and Serena hopes she can put the case behind her once and for all. Meanwhile, Paula Cunningham, Ciaran’s probation officer, is concerned with the media’s rabid obsession with her new charge, as well as Ciaran’s utter devotion to Thomas. Lurking on the sidelines is Daniel Rolston, David’s biological son, who is set on revenge, certain that the wrong Devine brother confessed. Paula and Serena are soon comparing notes as violence escalates around the brothers and secrets from the past come to light. Neville demonstrates once again that he’s a literary force to be reckoned with. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Associates. (Sept.)