Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Ten top crime novels featuring a small-town setting

Poppy Gee's new novel, Vanishing Falls, is set in a fictional rainforest area, near the Liffey Falls, an enchanting three-tiered waterfall beneath the Great Western Tiers in northern Tasmania.

At CrimeReads, the author tagged ten favorite small town mysteries from the US, Canada and Australia, including:
The Monsters We Make, by Kali White (2020)

It is a hot August in 1984 and the local paperboys are going missing in this riveting mystery. Nestled between a river and vast corn fields, with abandoned coal mines and wells beneath the surface, the small town of Des Moines, Iowa, harbours many places to hide a body. The police have no leads, and the community becomes increasingly terrified. Told via the viewpoints of the investigating police officer, aspiring reporter Crystal and her frightened brother Sammy, himself a paperboy, who knows more about the abductions than he is willing to say. Terror builds as it becomes clear that the assailant could be the most ordinary, trustworthy of people – a teacher, bus driver, librarian or neighbour. The well-mannered midwestern boys are easy prey to a master manipulator. This novel is inspired by the real life Des Moines paperboy abductions, when Johnny Gosch was the first missing child to have his picture appear on a milk carton, and this gives the novel an extra chilling heart. It’s a compelling cautionary tale about the real monsters who quietly live amongst us.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue