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Orient by Christopher Bollen

Monday, February 23, 2015

A gripping novel of culture clash and murder: as summer draws to a close, a small Long Island town is gripped by a series of mysterious deaths—and one young man, a loner taken in by a local, tries to piece together the crimes before his own time runs out

Orient is an isolated town on the north fork of Long Island, its future as a historic village newly threatened by the arrival of wealthy transplants from Manhattan—many of them artists.One late summer morning, the body of a local caretaker is found in the open water; the same day, a monstrous animal corpse is found on the beach, presumed a casualty from a nearby research lab. With rumors flying, eyes turn to Mills Chevern—a tumbleweed orphan newly arrived in town from the west with no ties and a hazy history. As the deaths continue and fear in town escalates, Mills is enlisted by Beth, an Orient native in retreat from Manhattan, to help her uncover the truth. With the clock ticking, Mills and Beth struggle to find answers, faced with a killer they may not be able to outsmart. 

Rich with character and incident, yet deeply suspenseful, Orient marks the emergence of a novelist of enormous talent.

Goodreads Summary

It's always easy to blame the outsider...and that is what happens to Mills Chevern in this novel.  The citizens of Orient experience odd and disturbing murders as well as the arrival of wealthy New Yorkers.  Neither of these is particularly welcome or pleasant to the citizens.  Beth, a citizen, combines brain power with Mills in an attempt to solve these crimes; however, the murderer proves difficult to pin down.

I enjoyed this book as a mystery.  I would have liked to have gotten to know the characters a little bit better.  However, those that I did get to know were fun to read about. Mills is an odd man with a few quirks and Beth is intelligent and inquisitive.  The plot is fairly fast-paced and the ending will leave the reader looking back through the book to see what he/she missed.  This book is recommended to adult readers.

4 Stars

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