Written by Carol L. Paur
Orange Blossom Publishing
Review by Jennifer Rupp
Carol Paur just dashed my belief that YA only appeals to teens. Early Summer is a straight-out suspense novel suitable for adults of all ages. The story is set in rural northern Wisconsin where life on a dairy farm is regimented and community is everything. Like J.D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield, eighteen-year-old Helene Denny is struggling with existential questions about growing up. One worry leads to another and Helene’s anxiety escalates. On the cusp of leaving the safety of family for college, what started as Helene’s odd interest in serial killers blossoms into an obsession when several 10 and 11 year-old girls go missing. The disappearances coincide with the arrival of a stranger in town, a man who, to Helene, looks and acts like a serial killer. Her chief concern quickly becomes that of keeping her younger sister safe. In her quest to discover who is taking the girls, she unwittingly draws the danger to her own doorstep.
Throughout the book, Carol Paur’s writing is deeply affective. She’s especially talented at relating teenage angst in a believable way without relying on meaningless snark so common in YA. Early Summer will appeal to readers who love well-paced, well-written mysteries and psychological suspense novels like those written by Ruth Hogan and Ann Patchett.
Reviewer Jennifer Rupp writes historical romance as Jennifer Trethewey. An actor-turned-writer, she’s moved her performances from the stage to the page and invites you to enjoy the drama of the Scottish Highlands in her Highlanders of Balforss series featuring brawny Scots and sweeping romance laced with a liberal dose of humor. https://jennifertrethewey.com/
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