Greatest Hits: Bay of Fires by Poppy Gee

bay of firesKick off the new year with The Book-A-Day Blog’s most popular posts of 2013! 

Bay of Fires, a wonderful debut novel by Poppy Gee, is set in a remote holiday town on the east coast of Tasmania. Sarah Avery has lost her job and is spending some time with her parents in the cabin they visit every summer. Her idea of hiding away quietly is shattered when she finds the body of a young woman on her favorite beach. Last year, another young woman was found dead in the same area, at the same time of summer. Suddenly, Sarah’s family, and the friends she has known her entire life, become suspects. Their lives and their secrets are splashed across the national news. Families who have known each other for years become divided between the wealthy owners of the holiday cottages and the poorer vacationers who stay in the campground. People point fingers at the disfigured man who lives alone with his cats at the edge of the woods. Suspicion and distrust infect what was once a close knit community.

The arrival of reporter Hall Flynn does nothing to ease the pressure on the locals, especially Sarah. The reasons why she left her job, her boyfriend, and the home she recently bought to live with her parents again, become topics of discussion. Even worse, she finds herself attracted to Flynn despite all her attempts to avoid him.  Flynn himself is also in a bit of a bind. His publisher is on his back over his lack of recent moneymaking stories.  No one in town wants to cooperate with him, though, because he is an outsider. Eventually, Flynn and Sarah have to join forces to track down the murderer.

I loved the unusual setting and the spooky atmosphere of this book. The author does a wonderful job of describing the wild nature of Tasmania’s east coast, and the insular nature of a small, isolated community. The novel is more a character study than a traditional mystery, and the setting becomes an important part of the puzzle. While the pacing may seem slow to some, I enjoyed the way it gradually built up the suspense. I would recommend this book, especially to fans of Elizabeth George or Tana French.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.

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