The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti
Atria Books: 9/26/17
eBook review copy; 352 pages
The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti is a highly recommended mystery/drama.
When a thousand starlings fall out of the sky, dead, on the town of
Oanoke PA during a high school baseball game coached by Nate Winters,
it seems to be the beginning of things that are going to go wrong for
the popular math teacher. A reporter in town investigating the
mysterious die off of birds has seen Nate embracing Lucia, a high school
student, While Nate has been, according to him, helping the young
woman, his wife, Alicia, has been at home struggling to take care of
their 5-year-old autistic son, Gabe.
Alecia's friend and Nate’s
coworker, Bridget Harris, is a creative writing
teacher at the high school and knows both Nate and the girl. She has
witnessed some suspect actions, but she is also trying to keep an open
mind. When the girl, Lucia, goes missing, Bridget tries to find her and
enlists the police. But the police are seeing only one suspect in her
disappearance, Nate, and the fragile bonds between husband and wife and
friends is near a breaking point as the town seems to rally against him.
In this character-driven drama, the story is told from the point of
views of Nate, Alicia, Lucia, and Bridget. This helps keep the reader
guessing and ratchets up the suspense as more clues are discovered and
more information comes out. Moretti is an excellent writer and handles
the transition between characters beautifully. Of the characters,
though, Bridget is the only one I even remotely cared about. Everyone
else resembled a caricature rather than a real person.
The ending was good for me, although I did struggle a bit with getting
there. I must admit I am becoming a wee bit tired of this plot (male
teacher/female student dead) and adding annoying characters to the
well-worn path didn't help me traverse it. What did help propel me
through the novel was the quality of the writing and looking at the plot
from the different character's points of view.
My review copy was courtesy of Atria Books.