Sunday, July 29, 2018
Grist Mill Road by Christopher Yates
Early adolescence is a strange time. Boys are starting to be interested in girls. Some have shot up while others still appear to be children. Girls are starting to grow into their beauty and flexing their attraction muscles. All are unsure of themselves, how they fit into the world and how to make their way forward. This was the case with the three main characters in Christopher Yate's novel, Grist Mill Road.
Patrick is the kid everyone knows; his father a popular figure around town who is going places. He is still small and unsure where he fits in. Hannah is the girl everyone wants to be. She is acknowledged as the prettiest girl in the class but there is still an innocence there as she starts to want to explore love. Her family is the richest in town. Matthew is the class bad boy. A year older than the rest and much bigger, his father is the town drunk who beats up his family to keep them in some imaginary line. He and Patrick become friends when Matthew moves from New York City to tiny Grist Mill Road. A year later, he and Hannah notice each other and sparks start to fly. The three decide to hang out one afternoon. At the end of it, a senseless crime has occurred that will mark the three for life and send them all in different directions.
Christopher Yates's first novel, Black Chalk, hit the mystery genre like a bomb. This novel has the same ingredients; an intricate plot that twists and turns into areas the reader doesn't anticipate; compelling characters that work their way into the reader's brain, and a mystery that shocks as it is revealed. This novel is also unlike the first which is the bane of second novels and can easily stand on its own, not depend on the first novel. This book is recommended for mystery readers.