DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE by Jackie Lynn

DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A campground on the Mississippi is home to miracles and murder.

Recently divorced nurse Rose Franklin has packed her life into a camper and is heading west. When her car breaks down in West Memphis, she decides to spend the down time in the nearby Shady Grove campground, a decision that changes her life. On the way there, she sees the police investigating a drowning at the riverbank. The apparent suicide is respected local undertaker Lawrence Franklin. Rose, a product of white, black and Native-American heritage who lost her mother at an early age and is estranged from her policeman father, is intrigued by the death of a man with her mother’s last name. She quickly becomes involved with the people in the campground: the ex-convict owner; the family whose one daughter is getting treatment for cancer and whose other daughter speaks of angels; and especially Lawrence’s old friend Tom Sawyer, a recovering alcoholic with whom she falls in love. According to Tom, Lawrence wanted to give a proper burial to the bones of slaves who had drowned in a boating accident. Rose pokes and prods until she too is attacked and has a near-death experience from which she emerges at peace with herself and happy to have saved Lawrence from a suicide’s grave.

Lynn’s debut mixes faith with murder in a way that whets the appetite for more.

Pub Date: June 19th, 2006
ISBN: 0-312-35230-1
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2006




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