This is my second book by Christopher Rice, and I enjoyed this PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER/COMING-OF-AGE story set in contemporary NEW ORLEANS. The mood is ominous, brooding with tightly wound emotions. Homoerotic desires and secrets unravel in unspeakable violence amidst four childhood friends. Seams unravel bit by bit as MURDER and SUICIDE undo four friendships, climaxing with a hurricane that washes away madness brought on by years of jealousy, passion, hatred, tainting not only the main character’s friendship, but also their families, and town.
The story begins the Summer of 1992 as the main characters, MEREDITH Ducite, STEPHEN Conlin, BRANDON Charbonnet, and GREG Darby ride their bikes through LAFAYETTE CEMETERY to play a game of hide-and-seek while a storm brews overhead. It is here that Meredith witnesses incomprehensible act between Greg and Stephen. She wants to believe it’s just boys play, but on a deeper level, she knows it’s something else.
Soon after the four enter Cannon, a private school for privileged teens, the FRIENDSHIP SPLINTERS. Cannon’s halls are filled with ADOLESCENT CRUELTIES toward other’s differences. After rumors of Stephens sexual inclination, he’s BULLIEDand OSTRACIZED freshman year.
Meredith soon spirals into bulimia and alcoholism. Brandon and Greg become popular football stars, hiding their fears and doubts behind masculinity, and bullying Stephen with homophobic slurs and violent acts. But beneath the anger and hatred lies LUST, JEALOUSIES, and MADNESS, leading to murder, suicide, and unstable adulthoods tainted by adolescent scars.
The story climaxes when FAMILY SECRETS are unveiled, threatening an already fragile bond between the main characters. A HURRICANE sweeps in as if to wipe the slate clean―purge the past and pull a secret into the light. Furious flood waters bring ATONEMENT and a fresh start for Meredith and Stephen. This story has many TWISTS AND TURNS steamier than Louisiana’s summers―tension, lusts, anger, madness… Phew!
The author delved deeply into teenage cruelty, fear, and persecution. I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Rice’s well-written, turbulent coming-of-age story.
Christopher Rice is the recipient of the Lambda Literary Award and is the New York Times bestselling author of A DENSITY OF SOULS and the Bram Stoker Award finalists THE HEAVENS RISE and THE VINES. He is the head writer and an executive producer of “The Vampire Chronicles”, a television show based on the bestselling novels by his mother, Anne Rice. Together they penned RAMSES THE DAMNED: THE PASSION OF CLEOPATRA, a sequel to her bestselling novel THE MUMMY OR RAMSES THE DAMNED. BONE MUSIC, the first installment in his new Burning Girl series, was released March 1st, 2018, and the sequel, BLOOD ECHO, will be released in February 2019. With his best friend, New York Times bestselling novelist Eric Shaw Quinn, Christopher hosts the YouTube channel THE DINNER PARTY SHOW WITH CHRISTOPHER RICE & ERIC SHAW QUINN (#TDPS). THE DINNER PARTY SHOW began as a podcast and Internet radio show. You can download and stream all of their episodes at http://www.TDPS.tv. He lives in West Hollywood, California.
Visit him at www.christopherricebooks.com.