We’ve got a copy of Lori’s latest novel, UNTIL SHE COMES HOME, up for grabs today. Just leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win.
Update: we’re thrilled to announce that the winner of this book is Gwyn. Thanks to all who entered! And don’t forget to check back soon. We have lots of great giveaways lined up for the rest of this year.
I round the last corner of my run, turn down my music, yank one bud from my ears and slow to a walk. A block ahead stands my house. My knees aren’t hurting too bad today, and though it’s only May, summer has already settled into Florida.
My street is lined with well manicured lawns. All of the hedges are trimmed. Every landscape bed is freshly mulched. All except the lawn at one house. It’s a rental. The grass around this three story yellow stucco house is ragged and the Indian hawthorn is browning and sparse. It is at this rental house where I see the man. He is slender with closely cropped dark hair and is dragging a garbage can to the curb. As he gets closer, I hear his flip flops slap against the concrete. In a few steps, we’ll meet at the end of his driveway where he’ll leave the garbage can. He’s new to the neighborhood, and I wonder if he knows tomorrow isn’t pickup day.
As I near the man, I lift a hand and smile. We’re a friendly neighborhood of joggers and runners, dog walkers and bikers. It’s our way, our custom, to lift a hand or give a nod. But the man with the garbage can doesn’t nod or smile or say hello. Instead he pauses at the end of his driveway and looks me in the eye one beat too long. In two steps, I am past him. I say nothing about garbage pickup being on Tuesday. My smile fades and I resist looking back. My heart is beating too fast. I take a deep breath. Was that a warning in his eyes? Was he angry I had said hello? Was it just my imagination?
This one true moment when I felt fear and yet wasn’t sure why was the inspiration for a scene in my latest novel, UNTIL SHE COMES HOME. Fourteen year old Arie and her twin sister, Izzy, feel the same fear when approached by their neighbor, Mr. Herze. He is the boss down at the factory. He drives a nice car, goes to church every Sunday, and yet something in the way he clings to Izzy’s hand a moment too long scares the twins and make them thankful the Uncle who cares for them is bigger and stronger than Mr. Herze. In this one moment, Izzy and Arie and we, the readers, know Mr. Herze is someone to fear.
The day after my encounter with the man and his garbage can, a nearby neighbor walks onto his dock to ready his boat for a fishing trip. Like my house, this neighbor’s house sits at the head of a canal. He’s a retired NY police officer and so better prepared than most for what he sees floating near his dock—the fully clothed, dead body of the man I had seen dragging his garbage to the curb, the man who had frightened me in the time it took for me to walk two steps. A few hours later, police discover the body of the dead man’s wife. Sometime after I saw him dragging his garbage can to the curb, the man had driven across town, shot his wife and then during the night, walked down our sleeping street, made his way between the houses, stood on the seawall and shot himself.
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Lori Roy’s debut novel, BENT ROAD, was awarded the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best First Novel by an American Author, named a 2011 New York Times Notable Crime Book and named a 2012 notable book by the state of Kansas. BENT ROAD has been optioned for film by Cross Creek, with Mark Mallouk to adapt and Benderspink to produce. Her second novel, UNTIL SHE COMES HOME, was recently named a New York Times Editors’ Choice.
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Winner of an Edgar Award for Best First Novel for Bent Road, Lori Roy returns withUntil She Comes Home, a tale of spellbinding suspense in which a pair of seemingly unrelated murders crumbles the facade of a changing Detroit neighborhood.
In 1958 Detroit, on Alder Avenue, neighbors struggle to care for neighbors amid a city ripe with conflicts that threaten their peaceful street.
Grace, Alder’s only expectant mother, eagerly awaits her first born. Best friend Julia prepares to welcome twin nieces. And Malina sets the tone with her stylish dresses, tasteful home, and ironfisted stewardship of St. Alban’s bake sale.
Life erupts when childlike Elizabeth disappears while in the care of Grace and Julia. All the ladies fear the recent murder of a black woman at the factory on Willingham Avenue where their husbands work may warn of what has become of Elizabeth, and they worry what is yet to become of Julia—the last to see Elizabeth alive.
The men mount an around-the-clock search, leaving their families vulnerable to sinister elements hidden in plain sight. Only Grace knows what happened, but her mother warns her not to tell. “No man wants to know this about his wife.” Ashamed that her silence puts loved ones in harm’s way, Grace gravitates toward the women of Willingham Avenue, who recognize her suffering as their own. Through their acceptance, Grace conquers her fear and dares to act.
On Alder Avenue, vicious secrets bind friends, neighbors, and spouses. For the wicked among them, the walk home will be long.