Foreword Reviews

Sinkhole

Sinkhole’s murder mystery takes place in the swampy hinterlands of Florida, with emphasis on teenage trauma and buried secrets brought to light.

In June of 2001, Michelle, a native of the backwater Lorida, comes home for the first time in fifteen years. She’s been drawn by a family medical emergency. As she motors down from Georgia, her travels are peppered with flashbacks to her youth, as well as to her friendships with rebellious, troubled Sissy, who took it upon herself to be Michelle’s best friend, and with Morrison, a sensitive outcast who connected to Michelle thanks to their mutual love of literature. At a gradual pace, it becomes clear that a mysterious death drove Michelle away from her hometown—but the victim and the perpetrator remain elusive.

While there are clever twists to the book’s mystery, it’s centered more by its cast and its vibrant settings. Descriptive verve is applied to sweaty, run-down swamps and trailer parks, as well as to hidden places of beauty. The cast’s psychological shifts are handled in a deft manner, too: Michelle comes to reckon with her past jealousies and angst, even as she recalls high school days with nostalgia.

Here, the 1980s are awash with pop culture excitement over New Wave bands and blockbuster movies. And Michelle thrills in making new friends. Numerous vignettes from the time are enlivened with keen details, and wry humor is applied to how Michelle’s mother earns a living as an obituary writer. Touching passages show the teenage trio interacting with people at a local gay club.

More than just a murder mystery, Sinkhole is a bracing tale about redemption, coming to terms with the past, and finding the strength to move forward.

Reviewed by Ho Lin

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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