Sherri Smith has written two historical novels, but her newest book, Follow Me Down, is a thriller. (And I have two copies to giveaway!)
Smith takes us to Wayouta, North Dakota. Mia and her twin brother Lucas could not wait to escape this small town, their drunken mother and the claustrophobic nature of everyone knowing you - and your business. Mia has made a life for herself in Chicago and works as a pharmacist. A pharmacist who tends to sample the product too much. Her brother went back though and works as a teacher at the local high school. Mia ends up back in Wayouta as well - but only after her brother is accused of killing the high school girl he was allegedly sleeping with. There's no way her brother could do such a thing....could he?
Smith has created one of those insular towns and filled it with people who happily jump on the bandwagon of popular theory. Lucas is guilty - they just need to find him. The police are sure that Mia knows where he is. Mia, for her part is just as determined to find him and prove his innocence. Wayouta is filled with a plethora of suspects, odd ducks, a dark underbelly and a questionable police department.
Mia is the narrator of the book, but she is distinctly unreliable."My face was splotchy; grass was in my hair. And I did look crazy. I did. For a full minute, I wondered if I was. If the pills had made my brain go runny and soft. That maybe I couldn't trust any of my own memories. That for me, reality was a multiple-choice questionnaire." Her tenacity and bullheadedness are appealing. And she has a wicked sense of humour. I quite liked her voice.
Relationships - especially those between a mother and child, play a large (and heartbreaking) part in the plotting. Sibling ties are also a focus of Follow Me Down.
I found Follow Me Down a bit slow to get started, but the story picked up speed after the initial characters were introduced and the time and place were set. Smith gives us lots of suspects and throws in some red herrings along the way. The final whodunit? Didn't see it coming! If I had to describe the feel of the book, I would say modern Gothic with a psychological twist. Read an excerpt of Follow Me Down.
Sherri on her website, follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook.
And if you'd like to read Follow Me Down, enter to win one of two copies up for grabs using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends April 1/17.