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About Heather Young
Heather is the author of two novels. Her debut, The Lost Girls, won the Strand Award for Best First Novel and was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Her second novel, The Distant Dead, was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel and named one of the ten best mystery/suspense books of 2020 by Booklist. A former antitrust and intellectual property litigator, she traded the legal world for the literary one and earned her MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars in 2011. She lives in Mill Valley, California, where she writes, bikes, hikes, and reads books by other people that she wishes she’d written.
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Titles By Heather Young
A BookPage Best Book of the Year * A People Magazine Best Book of Summer * A Parade Best Book of Summer * A Crime Reads Most Anticipated Book of Summer
"Powerful...a breathtaking read, with flawed and authentic characters who hit so close to home that at times it is impossible not to root for them." — San Francisco Chronicle
A body burns in the high desert hills. A boy walks into a fire station, pale with the shock of discovery. A middle school teacher worries when her colleague is late for work. By day’s end, when the body is identified as local math teacher Adam Merkel, a small Nevada town will be rocked to its core.
Adam Merkel left a university professorship in Reno to teach middle school in Lovelock seven months before he died. A quiet, seemingly unremarkable man, he connected with just one of his students: Sal Prentiss, a lonely sixth grader who lives with his uncles on a desolate ranch in the hills. The two outcasts developed a tender, trusting friendship that brought each of them hope in the wake of tragedy. But it is Sal who finds Adam’s body, charred almost beyond recognition, half a mile from his uncles’ compound.
Nora Wheaton, the middle school’s social studies teacher, dreamed of a life far from Lovelock only to be dragged back on the eve of her college graduation to care for her disabled father, a man she loves but can’t forgive. She sensed in the new math teacher a kindred spirit--another soul bound to Lovelock by guilt and duty. After Adam’s death, she delves into his past for clues to who killed him and finds a dark history she understands all too well. But the truth about his murder may lie closer to home. For Sal Prentiss’s grief seems heavily shaded with fear, and Nora suspects he knows more than he’s telling about how his favorite teacher died. As she tries to earn the wary boy’s trust, she finds he holds not only the key to Adam’s murder, but an unexpected chance at the life she thought she’d lost.
Weaving together the last months of Adam’s life, Nora’s search for answers, and a young boy’s anguished moral reckoning, this unforgettable thriller brings a small American town to vivid life, filled with complex, flawed characters wrestling with the weight of the past, the promise of the future, and the bitter freedom that forgiveness can bring.
“The delicacy of [Young’s] writing elevates the drama and gives her two central characters depth and backbone… For all the beauty of Young’s writing, her novel is a dark one...And the murder mystery that drives it is as shocking as anything you’re likely to read for a good long while.”
— New York Times Book Review
A stunning novel that examines the price of loyalty, the burden of regret, the meaning of salvation, and the sacrifices we make for those we love, told in the voices of two unforgettable women linked by a decades-old family mystery at a picturesque lake house.
In 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanishes from her family’s vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. Her disappearance destroys the family—her father commits suicide, and her mother and two older sisters spend the rest of their lives at the lake house, keeping a decades-long vigil for the lost child.
Sixty years later, Lucy, the quiet and watchful middle sister, lives in the lake house alone. Before her death, she writes the story of that devastating summer in a notebook that she leaves, along with the house, to the only person who might care: her grandniece, Justine. For Justine, the lake house offers freedom and stability—a way to escape her manipulative boyfriend and give her daughters the home she never had. But the long Minnesota winter is just beginning. The house is cold and dilapidated. The dark, silent lake is isolated and eerie. Her only neighbor is a strange old man who seems to know more about the summer of 1935 than he’s telling.
Soon Justine’s troubled oldest daughter becomes obsessed with Emily’s disappearance, her mother arrives to steal her inheritance, and the man she left launches a dangerous plan to get her back. In a house haunted by the sorrows of the women who came before her, Justine must overcome their tragic legacy if she hopes to save herself and her children.
Dans le décor aride des plaines de l'Idaho, Heather Young tisse un roman poignant, un suspense psychologique d'une grande finesse où s'animent des personnages vibrants, qui restent longtemps dans les mémoires.
Adam Merkel, professeur de mathématiques du collège de Lovelock, Idaho, est mort ce matin. C'est Sal Prentiss, l'un de ses élèves, qui vient de découvrir le cadavre de ce quadra sur un bûcher dressé dans le canyon.
Une annonce terrible qui secoue cette petite ville et remue profondément la jeune professeure Nora Wheaton. Elle qui se sentait liée à Adam par une solitude et une souffrance communes veut comprendre : qui pour assassiner aussi brutalement cet homme sans histoires?
Alors qu'elle plonge dans le passé de son défunt collègue, Nora réalise peu à peu que Sal, ce jeune orphelin timide et farouche, semble en savoir bien plus qu'il ne veut le dire... Avec lui, la jeune femme se lance dans une enquête délicate. Une plongée aux confins de l'âme des habitants de cette région oubliée du monde, qui portent en eux un héritage fait de violence et de survie dont ils n'ont plus conscience.