Talking about this book? Be sure to tag it using #TheDistantDead #NetGalley
A body burns in the high desert hills. A boy walks into a fire station, pale with the shock of a grisly discovery. A middle school teacher worries when her colleague is late for work. When the body is identified as local math teacher Adam Merkel, a small Nevada town is rocked to its core by a brutal and calculated murder.
In the seven months he worked at Lovelock’s middle school, the quiet and seemingly unremarkable Adam Merkel had formed a bond with just one of his students: Sal Prentiss, a lonely sixth grader who lives with his uncles on a desolate ranch in the hills. It is Sal who finds Adam’s body, charred almost beyond recognition, half a mile from his uncles’ compound.
Nora Wheaton, the school’s social studies teacher, sensed a kindred spirit in Adam – another soul bound to Lovelock by guilt and duty. After his death, she delves into his past for clues to who killed him. Yet, the truth about Adam’s murder may lie closer to home. For Sal’s grief seems shaded with fear, and Nora suspects he knows more than he’s telling about his favourite teacher’s death.
This unforgettable thriller brings a small American town to vivid life, filled with complex, troubled characters wrestling with the weight of the past, the promise of the future and the bitter freedom that forgiveness can bring.
Stunning... an ideal recommendation for fans of Kate Atkinson and Jodi Picoult' - Booklist (starred review)
'Powerful and poignant' - People (Best Books, Summer 2020)
'A searing, powerful story' - CrimeReads (Most Anticipated Books, Summer 2020)
'The suspense is slow and steady in this meditative, artistic take on the murder mystery... An unusual, compelling portrait of a people and a place where the future always seems impossibly far away' - Bookpage (starred review)