The Back Road
Review: The Back Road by Rachel Abbott is an absorbing mystery of love, deceit, secrets … and murder.
Ellie Saunders and her half-sister Leo Harris grew up in a run-down home abused by Ellie's mother and ignored by their father. He walked away one day and never returned. When Leo was old enough, she too left their home. When Ellie's mother died she left a sizable estate to Ellie — nothing for Leo. Ellie offered to split the inheritance with Leo, but Leo refused. Now, years later Leo has returned to the village of Little Melham to spend a few days with Ellie, her husband Max, and their five year old twins. Ellie and Max are hosting a dinner party for friends on Saturday evening to show off the completion of the redesign and restructure of the home Leo and Ellie had lived in as children. On the radio that Saturday afternoon comes an announcement that a young girl had been found badly injured, now in a comatose condition after being hit by an automobile and left at the side of the road. She had been found on the back road, a road used mainly by the wealthy residents of Little Melham as it only connected to two main roads. People of the village are being asked if they were on the road Friday night, and if so did they see any other cars. Everyone at the dinner party, including Ellie and Max, drove on the back road on Friday night, but no one would admit it. They were, in effect, each other's alibis. Ellie is concerned that she would have to reveal that someone was stalking her. And if Max admitted he was on the road, some might believe he was having an affair with a PE instructor at the local high school. One horrible incident but so many potential exposÚs would be made public. It was as if the dreadful act of a hit and run driver acted as a catalyst and the still waters around the small town were erupting with seething turbulence. It was if a geyser was about to shoot through the apparent calm surface of all their lives.
There are a number of remarkable characters in The Back Road, ranging from likeable men and women to very hateful, vicious men and women. The mystery of the hit and run is kept secret almost to the end of the novel, and then it come as a complete surprise. There are many complexities in the myriad relationships between the residents of the community that will draw the reader into the story. It is truly a spellbinding novel of suspense.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Back Road.
Acknowledgment: Thomas & Mercer provided a copy of The Back Road for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Back Road: England
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The Back Road by Rachel Abbott
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: October 2013
List Price: $14.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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