Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Shimmering Road

The Shimmering Road by Hester Young
Penguin Publishing Group: 2/14/17
eBook review copy: 416 pages
ISBN-13: 9780399174018

The Shimmering Road by Hester Young is a highly recommended mystery and the second book in a series featuring Charlotte "Charlie" Cates. The Gates of Evangeline is the first book in the series - and I immediately bought it after reading this second book first. You can enjoy The Shimmering Road without reading The Gates of Evangeline first, but I predict you will want to read both books in order to prepare for the planned third book.

Charlie has left her job as a journalist and the East Coast behind to start a new life in Sidalie, Texas, with Noah and the daughter they're expecting. Charlie is recovering from the death of her son and, while Noah is committed to her and is proposing marriage and house hunting with her for a home for them, she is uncertain about living in Sidalie with so many reminders of Carmen, his first wife, there. Charlie has dreams that are premonitions of events that have happened or will happen. Currently she has been having a recurring dream where she and her unborn daughter die while taking a shower. She and Noah carefully check out the showers in the houses they are looking at, but she hasn't seen it yet.

Then she gets a call from her aunt. There has been a double murder in Tucson, Arizona. Her estranged mother, Donna, who abandoned her as a toddler, and an unknown half-sister, Jasmine, were both shot. Left behind is Charlie's 6 year-old niece, Mickey. Charlie is convinced that Mickey is the girl Charlie has a vision of leaving bloody footprints across a floor, so she and Noah travel to Tucson to see if they can help and perhaps adopt Mickey, as well as confront Charlie's past. 

Charlie assumed the murders were drug-related, but when they get to Arizona, it appears that her mother was clean and working for a nonprofit charitable organization that helped impoverished women in the border town of Nogales, Mexico. So were their murders tied into something her loser half-sister was involved in, or had her mother started using again? Charlie is still having dreams/visions and while she is meeting the friends of her mother and sister, she needs to try and figure out where the truth lies.

This is a compelling story and Charlie is a likeable character. You will want to find out what happened to Donna and Jasmine, if only for Charlie's peace of mind and so answers will be available for Mickey someday. The plot does get a little convoluted and complicated, throwing out red herring about what may have happened, but the writing is very good and you will want to find the answers to solve Charlie's visions. Young does an excellent job with the descriptions of the settings and characters, making this novel come to life for the reader.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin/Random House.

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