One of my besties loaned me her copy of The Bright Lands by John Fram, raving that she "couldn't put it down!" After reading The Collected Schizophrenias, which was incredibly somber, I was ready for a change of pace.
Reviewers on Goodreads described this book as, "a mash-up of Friday Night Lights and a Stephen King novel," and I completely agree. Set in a tiny town in Texas, the story follows Joel Whitley as he desperately searches for his missing brother, Dylan. Dylan was the starting quarterback on the high school's football team, revered by everyone in town. His disappearance was unexplainable and unthinkable.
Fram brings us along on the investigation, learning new tidbits from multiple perspectives. The chapters alternate being narrated by Joel, one of the cops, a few of Dylan's teammates, and two of the young women in town.
As I was reading, I would get to the end of a chapter and say to myself, "Ok, one more!" The book is compulsive. You can't help but to keep going.
In the final 100 pages, things get very dark. If you're skittish about violence or murder, this one is definitely not for you.
The entire time I was reading this book, I kept thinking about how this story belongs on HBO as a mini series. It feels like exactly the kind of mystery / thriller their studio does so well.
Fun fact: the main character in this book, Joel, is born in Texas and moves New York City. The author, John Fram, was also born in Texas and moved to New York City.
Since finishing this, I've begun The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs and I'm really enjoying it. Looking forward to sharing my review with you!
*Image courtesy of Southern Review of Books.