cover image River Woman, River Demon

River Woman, River Demon

Jennifer Givhan. Blackstone, $28.99 (378p) ISBN 978-1-6650-5750-9

Eva Santos Moon, the narrator of this captivating whodunit from Givhan (Jubilee), is haunted by the drowning of her childhood best friend, Karma Marquez, when they were both 15. Years later, Eva still can’t remember whether she tried to save Karma or pushed her under the water. Consequently, Eva suffers from PTSD, marked by severe nightmares and blackouts. One night, Eva hears her husband, Jericho, screaming from the direction of the river near their New Mexico home. When she runs to help him, she finds him holding the bloody body of a close family friend, Cecilia Trujillo, who was apparently left to drown in the river by an attacker who smashed Cecilia’s face. Jericho is promptly accused of murder. When Eva later discovers texts between Cecilia and Jericho that suggest they were intimate, she feels betrayed. The coincidence of two friends dying by drowning doesn’t escape Eva. She again wonders whether she was somehow involved. In her effort to uncover the truth, Eva relies on the bruja spirit, an ancient spiritual art that she inherited from her late mother. But who can she trust? Givhan keeps the surprises coming. Psychological thriller fans will be well satisfied. Agent: Rebecca Friedman, Curtis Brown. (Oct.)