Keeping up on the reviews as I finish them! Super proud of myself with this.
Thanks to Celadon Books for the gifted copy in exchange for my honest review. I also got to participate in a fun Little Free Library drop that they did for this book just before release!
LOCUST LANE – Stephen Amidon (Released January 17th, 2023)
For fans of Mystic River by Dennis Lehane and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Stephen Amidon’s Locust Lane is a taut and utterly propulsive story about the search for justice and the fault lines of power and influence in a seemingly idyllic town. Can anyone be trusted?
On the surface, Emerson, Massachusetts, is just like any other affluent New England suburb. But when a young woman is found dead in the nicest part of town, the powerful neighbors close ranks to keep their families safe. In this searing novel, Eden Perry’s death kicks off an investigation into the three teenagers who were partying with her that night, each a suspect. Hannah, a sweet girl with an unstable history. Jack, the popular kid with a mean streak. Christopher, an outsider desperate to fit in. Their parents, each with motivations of their own, only complicate the picture: they will do anything to protect their children, even at the others’ expense.
With a brilliantly woven, intricately crafted plot that gathers momentum on every page, this is superb storytelling told in terse prose—a dynamic read that is both intensely gripping and deeply affecting.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars
I’m not gonna lie, I was incredibly skeptical when I saw this compared to Mystic River because I absolutely love that book and the adaptation. I was pleasantly surprised! LOCUST LANE was my introduction to Stephen Amidon and I will most definitely be picking up more from him. Whenever a book is compared to something so well-known and well-loved I go in with cautious optimism and finally this was spot on with that comparison. From the beginning, things feel immediately off and unsettling. Also, talk about an opening Prologue – perfectly sets the atmosphere and scene for the book.
A young woman, Eden Perry, is found dead in the affluent New England suburb of Emerson. To say the town is shaken is an understatement. Eden was last seen by her three friends, Hannah, Jack, and Christopher. All who are being investigated and are considered the prime suspects. Their parents are determined to protect their children and have their own reasons to try to put an end to the investigation into their lives. I loved the POVs in this book. Not those of the teenagers she was last seen with, like you might expect, but of their parents. It’s truly incredible the lengths parents will go to protect their children and their own secrets.
I’d classify this as more mystery/domestic suspense and not as much a thriller. It’s more character driven and the tension starts from page one. Despite it not being a fast-paced thriller it still moves at a steady pace that keeps you hooked. I never felt a lull or that my interest was slowly waning, but I’m also a sucker for these types of mysteries (like Mystic River). I gotta say that I loved the ending – it isn’t tied up in a neat little bow and I think that was the best way to end the book. Highly recommend!