cover image Broken Light

Broken Light

Joanne Harris. Pegasus Crime, $26.95 (432p) ISBN 978-1-63936-471-8

This incendiary, brilliantly plotted thriller from Harris (Chocolat) centers on 48-year-old Bernie Ingram’s midlife crisis. As a child, when “magic was as easy as maths,” Bernie honed a supernatural ability to see into the minds of others. Now, facing menopause, she’s been reduced to a minor player in her own life: she’s estranged from her moody husband and her 30-year-old son, and she has no close friends. The brutal murder of a jogger and the public’s response to it (that the woman shouldn’t have been out at night and alone) unleashes Bernie’s long-simmering rage and rekindles the magic she’s lost in adulthood. Kicking the knotty plot into high gear, she embarks on a journey to “over-write Old Bernie and to make of myself something different,” with potentially deadly results. Excerpts from Bernie’s diary alternate with sections from The Class of ’92, a book written by her childhood friend, Kate Hemsworth, which shines gradual light on the scope of Bernie’s traumas and abilities. Bernie’s and Kate’s vibrant voices will keep readers mesmerized right through to the glorious, explosive finale. This is a one-of-a-kind triumph. Agent: John Wood, RCW. (May)