Memories provide base in sequel; Twists in thriller
by Julia Keller
Memories are seldom infallible. Two people can remember the same event, yet their recollections vastly differ. The addition of repressed memories and Alzheimer’s disease add a new dimension to what one recalls from the past.
Memories provide a sturdy foundation for Julia Keller’s fifth intriguing novel featuring West Virginia prosecutor Bell Elkins. “Sorrow Road” delves into the vagaries of memory, the tragedy of Alzheimer’s and how past events affect the present. As ever, Keller’s series poignantly examines the role of families and life in the economically depressed town of Acker’s Gap, West Virginia.
Bell gave up a “glittering career” to return to Acker’s Gap because she believes she can help her hometown, where poverty and a lack of jobs are the norm. A meeting with former classmate Darlene Strayer, now a famous federal prosecutor, reminds Bell of the life she gave up. Darlene wants Bell to look into the death of her father, Harmon.
True, Harmon was elderly and suffering from Alzheimer’s, so his death shouldn’t have been a surprise. But Harmon is one of several residents who recently died unexpectedly at Thornapple Terrace, an Alzheimer’s care home. As Bell looks into Thornapple, her daughter, Carla, returns home to cope with her emotional issues.Years ago, Carla witnessed the murder of a friend, and while she thought she had dealt with it, she’s now having flashbacks to that day.
“Sorrow Road” continues the high standards that Keller has established with her series.
— Oline H. Cogdill
“The Couple Next Door”
by Shari Lapena
(Pamela Dorman Books)
In Shari Lapena’s highly suspenseful thriller “The Couple Next Door,” Anne and Marco Conti return home from a dinner party to find their front door open and their 6-month-old daughter, Cora, missing.
The Contis had been at their neighbors’ house for a birthday celebration. Their baby sitter canceled at the last minute, so they set up their baby monitor and one of them went home to check on Cora every half hour. But sometime between the last check at 12:30 a.m. and their return home around 1:30 a.m., Cora vanished.
Twists are subtly revealed with aplomb, taking the story to unpredictable levels.
“The Couple Next Door” is a well-sculpted domestic thriller.
— Oline H. Cogdill
Week ending Aug. 14, 2016.
1. “Bullseye” by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Little, Brown)
2. “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
3. “Insidious” by Catherine Coulter (Gallery Books)
4. “Sweet Tomorrows” by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine)
5. “Truly Madly Guilty” by Liane Moriarty (Flatiron Books)
6. “The Woman in Cabin 10” by Ruth Ware (Gallery/Scout Press)
7. “The Black Widow” by Daniel Silva (Harper)
8. “Three Sisters, Three Queens” by Phillipa Gregory (Touchstone)
9. “The Girls” by Emma Cline (Random House)
10. “Magic” by Danielle Steele (Delacorte)
— Publishers Weekly