PYRES by Derek Nikitas


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A harrowing debut novel in which a girl who witnesses the brutal murder of her father learns the worst is yet to come.

If only she’d known, 15-year-old Lucia Moberg would have done it all so differently. “But she didn’t know, and there’s the guilt that will not subside.” Bent on petty larceny—Lucia prides herself on light fingers—she’d conned her father into driving her to the mall. Her plan to lift a couple of CDs for some friends backfires when two instances of thievery go drastically awry. In the first, she narrowly escapes capture. Minutes later, on their way home, her father is gunned down, murdered by the carjacker to whom he refused to give his wallet. Enter Investigator Greta Hurd of the Rochester PD, the kind of detective who disdains the obvious. Having rejected the carjacking as the whole story, Greta begins asking pointed questions of Lucia’s anxious mom, of the boy next door whose general scruffiness runs counter to type and of certain unlovely members of a bottom-feeding gang called the Skeleton Crew. The pace accelerates and eventually explodes into violence. Lucia, caught in the middle, bears the brunt of the ensuing mindless savagery and manages to cope, survive intact and somehow emerge from the experience a bit less burdened by guilt.

The prose is admirable, the mood pure Ingmar Bergman. Proceed with caution.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-312-36397-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2007