The Dead Won’t Tell

CamCat. Sept. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9780744306019. $25.99. SUSPENSE
DEBUT In 1969, the small college in Hunt’s Landing, AL, is celebrating its role in aiding NASA with the first moon landing. During the festivities a Black student, Rosalie Du Frayne, is brutally murdered, but there is little investigation, and there are strong hints of a coverup. In 2015 Abbie Adams, a local white 37-year-old widow whose PhD history thesis was arbitrarily rejected by Prof. Frank Wexler 11 years before, is hired by the local newspaper to look into the cold case—with a one-week deadline for a new Sunday series. As she begins interviewing people who knew Rosalie, they begin to be murdered. Meantime, her TV documentarian friend Joss is trying to find purported Civil War treasure in town to restart his career. The two investigations converge when he rescues her, while both confront Old South traditions, family honor, and misplaced loyalties.
VERDICT Waters’s first novel is an engrossing mix of small-town lack of privacy, quirky friendships, feisty women, and several plot twists that truly do surprise Abbie as well as the reader.
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