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On the face of things, Where the Crawdads Sing is about murder. But this isn't your typical, fast-paced whodunit. Even when the plot moves into the investigation stage the story takes its time, much like the water Kyra lives on, winding between the present and past. A victim of her circumstances, Kyra is alone in the world at the age of 10. As a young woman, Kyra has limited interactions with the town and its people.
Power, lust, fear, and destruction are all words that could describe the story of Serena by Ron Rash. The novel's namesake, Serena, is an eerily beautiful woman who is obsessed with money and the destruction of both nature and her enemies. She is married to George Pemberton, the owner of a timber company responsible for clearing a large portion of the North Carolina landscape in 1929. One side of the story describes Serena's push to rid the landscape of trees and beasts alike.
Always in search of a new great mystery/thriller that will keep me reading through the late night hours, I discovered The Last Child by John Hart on the Edgar Awards website. John Hart's first novel was nominated for Best First Novel, his second won the Edgar for Best Novel, and his third one, The Last Child, is a 2010 nominee for Best Novel.