Posted in Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Bent Road by Lori Roy

Bent Road: A Novel
Published by The Penguin Group
Set in 1967. The Detroit riots push Arthur Scott to move his family back to his hometown in Kansas. He has not lived there for more than 20 years. His wife, Celia, knows he has secrets. Secrets that have burdened him for years. She fears moving back will be too much for her family. Celia knows his sister Eve died all those years ago but doesn’t know the details. She acquiesces to her husband’s wishes and packs up her family to return to Bent Road.

Life there is difficult, a local girl disappears and many believe that the same man took her that killed Arthur’s sister all those years ago. The man who is now married to his other sister Ruth is suspected of both crimes. Arthur’s daughter Evie looks remarkably like her deceased aunt and becomes fascinated by the clothes left behind in her aunt’s closet. Their son is unsure where he fits within the family. Arthur’s mother wants the past to stay in the past. Celia is just getting to know her in-laws and doing her best to keep her family together and safe. Life on Bent Road is just as unsettling as she suspected.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I know why the was nominated for an Edgar Award. It is a fascinating debut and not your typical mystery. It is really a story of family relationships and struggles during a critical time in American history with mystery and suspense woven throughout the story. The characters are captivating and genuine. The family itself is very dysfunctional but so is the entire community. The drama is very real and intense in places, laid back in others. The story ebbs and flows at a comfortable pace, but on the whole is very dark. The author has a gift of drawing you in to the murky waters of this Kansas town. This book was not what I had expected at first but I am very glad I took the journey down Bent Road.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”