The Risen

Ecco: HarperCollins. Sept. 2016. 272p. ISBN 9780062436313. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062436337. F
OrangeReviewStarA disturbing discovery along a creek bed in North Carolina pulls Eugene Matney back into the summer of 1969, when Eugene and his older brother, Bill, fell for a "wild child" from Florida. Eugene was especially mesmerized by this exotic hippie visitor named Ligeia, who introduced the shy teen to sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But by the end of summer, Ligeia suddenly disappeared and Eugene had discovered that alcohol was the one true love of his life. Meanwhile, dutiful brother Bill becomes a successful surgeon, following in the footsteps of their tyrannical grandfather. How will the gruesome find in Panther Creek upend their lives? What secrets have been long buried? Rash has sometimes been called a Southern gothic writer, and his nod to Poe in naming his troubled character Ligeia might point that way, along with the portrayal of Nebo, Grandfather Matney's mute, sinister assistant. Though his stories, set mostly in the Southern mountains, have a strong sense of place, his beautifully written fiction transcends any formula.
VERDICT Rash is not only a master of suspense, he's one of our finest writers. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 3/21/16.]
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