"There," says Alice Hayward to Reverend Stephen Drew, just after her baptism. Twelve hours later, she suffers a violent death at the hands of her husband who will kills shoots himself. But when the medical examiner autopsies the two bodies, what appeared to be a straightforward case of domestic abuse, turns out to be far more complex. Given the ...
"There," says Alice Hayward to Reverend Stephen Drew, just after her baptism. Twelve hours later, she suffers a violent death at the hands of her husband who will kills shoots himself. But when the medical examiner autopsies the two bodies, what appeared to be a straightforward case of domestic abuse, turns out to be far more complex. Given the angle of the bullet and the amount of blood spattered around the room, he can only conclude that someone other than George Hayward fired the gun. Told through the eyes of four narrators, SECRETS OF EDEN is full of twists and turns, making you question the innocence of each character. Stephen Drew goes first and wins our trust as he draws us into his world, describing his shock at the violence that hit this small, sleepy town, and his sudden loss of faith which ultimately will make him flee. But Catherine Benincasa, the tough State Attorney, has her suspicions about Drew. Following is Heather Laurent, whose appearance in the town on the day after the killings is curious in itself; she is a bestselling author of national fame, far removed from this local community. And yet she herself lost her parents in similar circumstances and easily identifies with Alice's 15-year-old daughter, Katie, who was safely at a rock concert with her best friend the evening her parents died, well away from the killer's reach...
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Publishers Weekly, 2009-11-09 Bohjalian (Law of Similars) has built a reputation on his rich characters and immersing readers in diverse subjects-homeopathy, animal rights activism, midwifery-and his latest surely won't disappoint. The morning after her baptism into the Rev. Stephen Drew's Vermont Baptist church, Alice Hayward and her abusive husband are found dead in their home, an apparent murder-suicide. Stephen, the novel's first narrator, is so racked with guilt over his failure to save Alice that he leaves town. Soon, he meets Heather Laurent, the author of a book about angels whose own parents' marriage also ended in tragedy. Stephen's deeply sympathetic narration is challenged by the next two narrators: deputy state attorney Catherine Benincasa, whose suspicions are aroused initially by Stephen's abrupt departure (and then by questions about his relationship with Alice), and Heather, who distances herself from Stephen for similar reasons and risks the trip into her dark past by seeking out Katie, the Haywards' now-orphaned 15-year-old daughter who puts into play the final pieces of the puzzle, setting things up for a touching twist. Fans of Bohjalian's more exotic works will miss learning something new, but this is a masterfully human and compassionate tale. (Feb.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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