MURDER IN MAINE by Mildred and Katherine Roome Davis

MURDER IN MAINE

The Avenging of Nevah Wright

KIRKUS REVIEW

A teen scuba-diving excursion on a small Maine island turns deadly. Tragedy (or revenge?) stalks the survivors over decades.

The story begins when the wealthy “summer” residents’ children–practical Sport Abbott, golden-boy Talbot Harrington-Clark, quirky Whitney Chapin and artistic Dede St. John–give local boy Nevah Wright (son of the year-round island caretaker and his wife) new scuba equipment. On the first trip, however, Nevah panics and drowns before anyone realizes that he’s in trouble. His parents, Edith and Johnny Wright, are devastated, and Edith lapses into dementia. Meanwhile, Sport, the narrator for most of the story, begins to view herself as “the person who had killed Nevah.” As the years pass, various tragedies befall the original participants: Whitney is blinded; Dede is crippled; Talbot, who is on the verge of proposing to Sport, is killed by a hit-and-run driver. Finally, Sport suffers a brain injury after another “accident” and lies in a semi-comatose state, from which she can hear visitors unknowingly confess their deepest secrets to her. After Anne, Sport’s mother, dies trying to save Whitney and Dede in a storm, Sport learns that her mother was a psychotic and tragically self-delusional killer. She finally decides to move on with her life when Steve Schwartz, the doctor she was falling in love with, informs her that he’s marrying her half-sister, Sarah. Eventually, all of the rich characters end up either alone, injured or dead. Throughout, issues of social order and class differences inform and shape the lives of the residents of the island, and the authors smoothly integrate light social criticism into the engaging storyline.

Well written, evocative mystery.

Pub Date: Dec. 2nd, 2005
ISBN: 1-4134-8746-7
Program: Kirkus Indie
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