Dark Roads

St. Martin’s. Aug. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9781250133571. $27.99. SUSPENSE
At the heart of Stevens’s latest stand-alone thriller (after Never Let you Go) are two resilient young women whose lives become joined by the same dark, violent set of events. Hailey McBride is 17 years old and recently orphaned in the town of Cold Creek, British Columbia. The loss of her father has sent her reeling, and now she’s forced to live with a domineering, terrifying uncle, who also happens to be the chief of police. Hailey begins to suspect that her uncle’s threatening behavior may be even worse than she thinks and wonders if it might be connected to the string of murders of young women in the area—then Hailey disappears. She leaves behind a girlfriend, Amber, who soon meets with violence as well. A year later, Amber’s sister Beth drops out of college, quits her job, and moves to Cold Creek, determined to find out what happened to her sister and Hailey. As Beth delves into the locals’ secrets, her life and Hailey’s collide to explosive effect.
VERDICT Though dark and foreboding, none of the violence here is gratuitous and the strength and resilience shown by Stevens’s female characters offers leavening moments of heart and hope. For fans of Karin Slaughter and Lisa Gardner.
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