Three new mysteries (among a wealth of other new books — watch this blog for more previews) have arrived at the Field Library this week, featuring female protagonists taking on some of the biggest and most difficult questions of their lives.
What if there were a special place for people on the run from abusive spouses, a place where they could change their names, change their lives, drop off the grid and be safe? That’s the setting of City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong: the town of Rockton in the wilds of Canada, where you have to apply to get permission to live, and the people who are allowed to move there are tightly screened for their own protection and the protection of the other people already living there. Casey Duncan, a homicide detective, applies to move to Rockton with her close friend, Diana, who’s on the run from a violent ex-husband. Casey is a little different from the other applicants for residence in the town: in her youth, she killed a man, who happened to be the grandson of a mobster. The town is eager to have Casey for her homicide expertise, since there’s been a murder in the town, for the first time ever. But there’s more going on in Rockton than Casey imagines, and as she begins to investigate, she starts wondering whether she and her friend might not be in more danger there than out in the world.
If there’s anything a parent fears more than losing a young child to death, it’s losing a child at least partially due to your own momentary negligence. Jenna Gray, in I Let You Go, by Clare Mackintosh, finds herself in that horrible situation. She lets go of her son’s hand for just a second, he darts out into the street, and is killed by a hit and run driver. Devastated by her loss and her grief, second-guessing her actions, Jenna withdraws to a remote location on the Welsh coast. At the same time she’s trying to come to grips with her loss, two police officers are investigating the hit and run that killed the boy, an investigation that’s frustrating, twist-filled and devastating.
Once upon a time, Rowan and Marianne were the best of friends, in the book, Keep You Close, by Lucie Whitehouse. Rowan, a motherless girl with a mostly absent father, was desperate for a family, and Marianne’s family took her in as if she were their own. In particular, Marianne’s mother, Jacqueline, was exactly the kind of mother Rowan wished she had: kindhearted, feminist, loving. Then after their teenage years Rowan and Marianne drifted apart, knowing little of each other’s lives. When Rowan discovers that Marianne fell to her death, Rowan finds it hard to believe this could have happened, considering Marianne’s crippling vertigo that would have never allowed her to get close to the edge of a roof. As she thinks about how much Marianne once meant to her, Rowan finds it impossible to leave her friend’s death without trying to find out what really happened. Naturally, this brings Rowan back into the orbit of Marianne’s family again as she discovers more and more about Marianne’s adult life, including the men who are now mourning for her with varying degrees of sincerity. Nothing is as it seems, not even the past Rowan tries to recapture, and the truth about Marianne’s death could be as dangerous to Rowan as it was to Marianne.
Come and make the acquaintance of Casey, Jenna and Rowan at the Field!