7 January 2017

BEHIND EVERY DOOR by Cynthia A. Graham


AMAZON UK £ 7.36  / £6.46
AMAZON US $ 9.12  /$10.63
AMAZON CA $ n.a / $21.39

Mystery / Crime
1940s
Arkansas

This book is set in the very small town of Cherokee Crossing, Arkansas, and the town’s young sheriff Andrew “Hick” Jackson Blackburn has a murder to solve, which is not in itself unusual. But this time, it is personal, the victim being a lady Hick cared for – that everyone, it seems, cared for. So who killed her, and what on earth was Gladys Kestrel doing up by the drainage ditch anyway?

Behind Every Door is a beautifully written book centred round a well-developed plot. Descriptive passages bring to life the setting, a small town in the back of beyond just after World War II. The sheriff himself remains afflicted by the memories of what he saw and did during his time in the army, and as a consequence Hick has problems opening up to those who love him and care for him, preferring to bury himself in work. This causes difficulties between him and his wife, Maggie, and allows for glimpses into a complex man, battling with demons he refuses to fully acknowledge.

What I particularly enjoy is how Ms Graham uses the brooding weather to reflect the growing tension at Cherokee Crossing. On the one side, a large number of people have already decided who is guilty of the murder and want the sheriff to act – before they do so themselves. On the other side, those who are not so quick to judge urge caution – albeit that this is a dwindling minority. And all the while, one storm after another rolls in, making night out of day, drenching the town and the surroundings.

This is not only a book about a murder. It is a book about the secrets all people carry, the ones that live and breathe behind each door. All of us have them, and some of them are defining, some not so much. Hick knows about this, is far too intimately acquainted with the darker side of being human and the fortitude required to rise above the burdens of guilt and buried secrets to confront the life ahead. This reader is happy that Hick has people holding his back: his loving wife, his brother-in-law and deputy and, last but not least, that rather wonderful doctor, Mr Prescott.

©Anna Belfrage  Discovering Diamonds
(This novel may appear incorrectly formatted as an e-book on some devices.)

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