2 of 4
Grist Mill Road
352 pages; Picador
Two of life's delicious pleasures—gourmet delectations and a sinister, plot-twisty tale—come together in this intelligent thriller. When we first meet Patrick, he is 12 years old and witness to a horrible attack in the woods, committed by a friend against a girl named Hannah. Flash forward and 38-year-old Patrick is living in Manhattan, tinkering with a food blog and chewing on his rage at having been fired from his job. Turns out that he's married to Hannah, now a successful crime reporter who continues to suffer from nightmares. She lost an eye in that long-ago assault, during which—as far as she knows—Patrick saved her life. But is that really what happened? As the story shifts back and forth in time and changes narrators, it becomes increasingly hard to know whom to trust, especially when Matthew—the boy convicted of the crime—reappears in the guise of a possible investor in the culinary company Patrick dreams of starting. "The reality," Matthew says, "is there are more than two sides to most stories. Truth is seldom a lens, truth is a kaleidoscope." As Patrick becomes increasingly unhinged and Hannah reveals secrets of her own, all three end up back in their upstate New York hometown for a spectacular and deadly denouement.
— Dawn Raffel