Welcome to the bucolic hamlet of Haverill, Vt., as portrayed in Chris Bohjalian's Secrets of Eden (Shaye Areheart, Feb.). As the novel opens, the murder-suicide of a prominent couple has shocked the population: on the same day as her baptism by the Rev. Stephen Drew, Alice Hayward returns home to her husband, George, who will strangle her that evening and then shoot himself. The story is told from the perspectives of four characters: Rev. Drew, who, disillusioned with his faith, leaves town almost immediately; State's Attorney Catherine Benincasa, who suspects George was murdered; Heather Laurents, an inspirational writer; and Katie Hayward, the orphaned Hayward daughter. I loved the subtle and gradual way that the facts of the incident are revealed. Bohjalian's prose is flawless, as is his understanding of the many facets of the human condition: wife beating, alcoholism, and infidelity are social issues that play major roles. As much as I love Bohjalian's books—I've read most of them—Secrets may become my favorite. Book groups will eat this one up.