Synopses & Reviews
When the murdered body of a young woman is found in a river wash in Black Canyon City, Arizona, Deputy Sheriff Sam Rush begins an investigation that leads deeper and deeper into the mystery of her death and the psychological mystery of identity. Nate Aspenall, with whom the young woman had been involved, is forced to confront the facts of her life and his own, and what he may have become with her. Sam Rush confronts the degree to which he is hindered by his assumptions about the Aspenall family, and by the knowledge of his own isolation. And Travis Aspenall, Nates fourteen-year-old stepbrother, must come to grips with what love and sex do to people, what choices they make when threatened with loss, and how to figure out what youre left with when what you thought you knew and trusted has been thrown into question.
As the investigation takes Sam north to Winslow and Holbrook and brings Nate home, temporarily, to Black Canyon City, solving the mystery becomes more complicated. Additional suspects emerge. Nobody tells the truth. The victims haphazard life was dangerous, and her relationship with Nate anything but straight-forward. As for Nate, his time in Black Canyon City is running out. His family is no longer certain of his innocence. In the midst of this, Travis struggles to grow up.
Set in the gorgeous setting of Winslow, Arizona where the place becomes a fully realized character in this beautiful story Judy Troy offers a murder mystery infused with inter-woven love stories and unforgettable voices, a masterful return for this wonderful writer.
"Troy's first novel since 1999's From the Black Hills is a quiet, intelligent literary whodunit set in two small towns in Arizona. A crime and its aftermath is shown from three perspectives: those of high school student Travis Aspenall; his much older half-brother, Nate; and Sam Rush, the matter-of-fact, careful deputy sheriff who patrols an impossibly wide swath of this bleak, rugged terrain. The story opens in Black Canyon City, when Travis and his younger brother, Damien, find the body of Jody Farnell, a troubled young woman who had been fitfully employed as a waitress and loosely connected to Nate (he was in love with Jody; she didn't return his affections). Troy slowly and methodically unfolds the story of Jody's murder, as well as the stories of her three narrators and a large supporting cast. As in small towns everywhere, the locals all seem to know each other's business, but at the same time, as Travis puts it, 'There was always a way in which people in general were sort of strangers to each other.' At times the narrators sound overly insightful, but the prose has a poetic sensibility that allows the novel to transcend the mystery genre. Agent: Georges Borchardt, Georges Borchardt Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Judy Troy has published three previous books, Mourning Doves, which was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, West of Venus, a New York Times Notable Book, and From the Black Hills, an Editors Choice from the ALA. She won a Whiting Wroters Award in 1996. She lives in Auburn, Alabama with her family.