As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 13 December 2015. ISBN 978-1-61620-477-8
the distressing slide of a family from comfortable normality into a life of
creeping horror where nothing is certain and nobody involved with the story can
be happy or contented. It is one of the most aptly named and disturbing
books I have ever read.
Catlin Courtland and her
younger brother Sean set off early one morning from their holiday lodge in the
Rocky Mountains. Catlin adores running. She is good at it and has already been
awarded a track scholarship for when she starts college in a few weeks
time. With Catlin running ahead and Sean following on his bike the couple
are soon way off any beaten tracks and into a densely wooded area where phones
cannot get a signal.
Disaster strikes when Sean
collides with a truck and suffers a catastrophic knee injury. The truck
driver suggests that he drives Catlin down the mountain until her phone works
so she can call her father and send for medical help. She agrees- albeit
reluctantly, and that is the last anybody sees of her.
Most of the remainder of the
book is a painstaking and lovingly crafted tale of how the various people
involved: Catlin’s parents - whose marriage is already in trouble; her brother,
the local Sherriff and his family, and the many others who support them, deal with
the impossible state of limbo in which they find themselves abandoned. Their
reactions are described with an unadorned, resolute honesty that strengthens
the narrative far more than a string of highly emotive language ever could.
The startling end, when it
finally comes two years later, is well worth waiting for. It leaves you
wishing that you could continue to follow the characters and find out how they
deal with the new situations they find themselves in now that they know what
happened to Catlin. Only one thing is sure, all their lives have been
Reviewer Angela Crowther
Tim Johnston is the author of the novel Descent, a short story collection Irish Girl, and the Young Adult novel Never So Green. Tim's stories have also appeared in New England
Review, New Letters, The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, Double Take, Best
Life Magazine, and Narrative Magazine, among others. He holds degrees from the
University of Iowa and the University of Massachusetts, Amhers. He currently
teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Memphis.
On Twitter: @TJohnstonWriter
Angela Crowtheris a retired
scientist. She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime
fiction. In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group,
goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi