Author: Lee Martin
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Reminiscent of The Lovely Bones and The Little Friend, The Bright Forever is as disturbing as it is remarkable. Gripping and tense the book marches to an an inevitable conclusion the reader wishes he could stop by reading no further while remaining powerless to put the book down.
"Thirty years after the fact, a schoolteacher in a small Indiana town narrates this gripping tale of a crime and the lives it has forever changed. On a quiet evening in July, nine-year-old Katie Mackey leaves home for the library, and never returns. In chapters written in different voices and jumping back and forth between that day and four days later, the author carefully lays out his simple yet mesmerizing plot, gradually revealing the dark secrets held by those involved--secrets that, when woven together, propel the action to its seemingly preordained conclusion. The teacher, Henry Dees, is a lonely misfit who longs for a child of his own. His neighbor hides a drug addiction even from his wife, and his discovery of Henry's secret longings gives him a sense of power. This lethal combination leads to a horrendous crime that leaves Henry wracked with guilt, knowing he'll "always be living that summer in that town." Martin's novel is hard to put down, as these dark and intertwined lives march inexorably to tragedy.: ~Deborah Donovan (Amazon)
A brilliant summer's read. As good as it gets.
(Originally posted to Multiply July 26, 2008)