Secrets of Eden, by Chris Bohjalian

Bohjalian’s latest novel is about Reverend Stephen Drew and how a tramatic experience involving a member of his congregation rocks his faith and his world. On the night after her baptism, Alice Hayward is murdered by her abusive husband, before he kills himself. Drew is filled with guilt over not doing more to protect Alice and begins to question not only his vocation but his faith in God. In the investigation that ensues the tragedy, secrets about Alice and her family surface and you realize that nothing is as it seems.

This novel is told in four parts by four different narrators. I love this format because each voice lent something new to the story; a new perspective and insight. Twists and turns abound in this surprising thriller. I literally read the book in one day. I couldn’t put it down. Every time I tried a new twist arose that kept me plowing on.

Bohjalian’s style is quick and action packed. His dialogue is snappy and his descriptions are solid; not overdone. His pacing kept me engaged. My only disclaimer  is that the novel does contain some very graphic, violent and disturbing scenes and there is the use of profanity. I know for a fact that some of my blog fans will not want to read this book because of that.

But I was enthralled until the very last sentence….which was the most surprising and satisfying of them all.

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