Book Review: Crooked River: A Novel by Valerie Geary

Crooked River: A Novel
Author: Valerie Geary
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Mystery
Released: October 14th 2014
Review Source: William Morrow

With the inventiveness and emotional power of Promise Not to Tell, The Death of Bees, and After Her, a powerful literary debut about family and friendship, good and evil, grief and forgiveness.

He is not evil. I am not good.

We are the same: broken and put back together again.

Still grieving the sudden death of their mother, Sam and her younger sister Ollie McAlister move from the comforts of Eugene to rural Oregon to live in a meadow in a teepee under the stars with Bear, their beekeeper father. But soon after they arrive, a young woman is found dead floating in Crooked River, and the police arrest their eccentric father for the murder.

Fifteen-year-old Sam knows that Bear is not a killer, even though the evidence points to his guilt. Unwilling to accept that her father could have hurt anyone, Sam embarks on a desperate hunt to save him and keep her damaged family together.

I see things no one else does.

I see them there and wish I didn’t. I want to tell and can’t.

Ollie, too, knows that Bear is innocent. The Shimmering have told her so. One followed her home from her mom’s funeral and refuses to leave. Now, another is following Sam. Both spirits warn Ollie: the real killer is out there, closer and more dangerous than either girl can imagine.

Told in Sam and Ollie’s vibrant voices, Crooked River is a family story, a coming of age story, a ghost story, and a psychological mystery that will touch reader’s hearts and keep them gripped until the final thrilling page.

Gawd, this one was such a powerful read! Crooked River is fast paced that I flipped pages like I had nothing else to do. This novel is about tragedy, grief, forgiveness and family. This is such a beautiful coming of age novel. If you are looking for a mystery book with intense plots, then this is a must read.

Crooked River is told in alternative voices of two sisters – fifteen year old Sam and seven year old Ollie. Such a difference in age, but both girls’ perspective is unique. With the sudden death of their mother, the sisters are sent to live with their father.  He is one tough cookie to crack. Trying to learn more about their father, an unexpected event occurs. Now charged of a crime, Bear, the girl’s father, is arrested and now the sisters are left as orphan. But alas, Sam is not easily fooled, though all evidence points to her father. She refuses to believe his guilt and embarks to a journey to uncover the truth.

Crooked River was phenomenal! With its great mystery, mind-gripping plots, I highly recommend this novel. You will fly through in one seating.

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