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River Road: A Novel Hardcover – January 19, 2016
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“A terrific psychological thriller that will keep readers guessing through every twist." (Library Journal (Starred Review))
"River Road is a gripping read with emotion-charged twists and turns that you won't see coming. Carol Goodman creates a heroine who'll linger with you long after you close the book."
—Tess Gerritsen, author of Playing with Fire
"Goodman expertly melds the psychological thriller and academic mystery into a compelling story of revenge and grief. . . . Believable twists drive River Road to a thrilling denouement." (Associated Press)
"Sharp and a page-turner" (BookReporter.com)
"The story is filled with unexpected twists. Like drivers on River Road, readers won’t be able to see what’s around the next corner." (The Freelance Star)
“With romance folded between scenes of deadly danger, this is an engrossing mystery.”
"A suspense-filled page-turner....This engrossing novel will keep readers guessing unitil the end, which showcases the resilience of human nature and the will to survive." (RT Reviews (top pick))
"Goodman provides an insightful look at revenge, grief, and rebuilding one’s life after a horrific loss." (Publishers Weekly)
"Goodman pushes the needle over into the red zone and keeps it there through page after page of suspense, until it bursts open like a firework in a redemptive conclusion. Longtime Goodman fans, here's our red meat; newcomers, prepare to become longtime fans." (Chronogram)
“Add RIVER ROAD to Carol Goodman’s growing resume of frighteningly real suspense novels. Mixing an unreliable narrator with a dead creative writing student and a plethora of suspects in a forbidding setting of snow and ice, Goodman crafts a gripping novel impossible to put down until the shocking reveal on its final pages.”
—Robert Dugoni, author of My Sister’s Grave
Praise for Carol Goodman:
The Lake of Dead Languages
“A wonderfully eerie sense of place . . . Deeply atmospheric.” (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
“Like Donna Tartt’s Secret History or a good film noir . . . [this book will] keep readers hooked.”
(People (Page-turner of the Week))
The Seduction of Water
“Truly a seductive reading experience . . . grabs the reader on the first page and holds on for the entire journey.”
(The Denver Post)
“Like the best mysteries, The Seduction of Water offers puzzles and twists galore but still tells a human story.” (The Boston Globe)
“An atmospheric thriller, but a smart one with a racing story line.” (New York magazine)
“Seduction enchants with its fairy-tale motif and sensuous atmospherics.” (People)
“Gripping . . . Entrancing . . . A completely involving mystery cleverly tied in with several fairy tales.” (Booklist)
“Goodman establishes herself as a writer to watch in the field of literary thrillers.” (Library Journal (Starred review))
“Mystery, folklore, a thoroughly modern romance, a strong sense of place, and a winning combination of erudition and accessibility make this second novel a treat.” (Publishers Weekly)
The Drowning Tree
“Deftly plotted and certainly intriguing . . . infused with the sinister aura of its setting . . . The Drowning Tree has its twists and shudders.” (New York Daily News)
“[A] captivating literary mystery of secrets old and new.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Goodman’s early promise comes to full flower in this work. . . . A novel full of surprises.” (The Denver Post)
“Addictive . . . Goodman delivers an engaging, original story.” (The Boston Globe)
"Gracefully written and engaging . . . Goodman specializes in atmospheric literary thrillers, and her newest book . . . is an especially fine specimen of its type." (The Denver Post)
“[Goodman] gives her many fans a new dose of what she does best: good storytelling, with velvet swaths of Gothic mist and fairy-tale eeriness.” (The Plain Dealer)
“[A] moving story of mothers and daughters and the hard choices women must make . . . Goodman combines gripping suspense with strong characters and artistic themes. Those who read Anita Shreve or Jodi Picoult are likely to become fans.” (Library Journal)
“A thriller that feels so real you literally will shiver along with the characters as they battle the harsh winter cold while trying to solve a murder…Upstate New York Noir… RIVER ROAD is a great literary thriller that takes a tragic event on an icy, dark, winding country road and spins it out like great Greek drama.” (Book Report Network)
“River Road is a must read for mystery novel enthusiasts. Author Carol Goodman’s vivid winter setting and surreal imagery enhance this mystery filled with hauntings and troubles of the past and present.” (San Diego Book Review)
About the Author
Carol Goodman is the critically acclaimed author of fourteen novels, including The Lake of Dead Languages and The Seduction of Water, which won the 2003 Hammett Prize. Her books have been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family, and teaches creative writing at the New School and SUNY New Paltz. Visit her at CarolGoodman.com.
Top customer reviews
River Road is set at a fictional college in upstate New York. The narrator, a college professor named Nan Lewis who was just denied tenure, is driving home from a party. She hits a deer (or does she?) in the exact location where her young daughter was killed by a drunk driver 6 years ago. The police show up at her door the next day to tell her that her favorite student was killed by a hit and run driver in that exact location, around the same time. We then go through a range a suspects, including another student, the department chair, a local middle-aged drug dealer, etc. The professor then tries to solve the mystery in order to clear her own name, putting her life and the lives of others in danger. Various secrets are revealed along the way. The book also looks at guilt and redemption. Nan blames herself for her daughter's death and her life has spiraled downward since it happened.
For me, the story became too convoluted with drugs, drug related death, a side story about the local prison, and various love affairs involving students and faculty. It is also full of coincidence. The police officer who responded to Nan's daughter's death also investigates her for the death of the student. AND, he took some of her literature classes and has been watching out for her from afar. AND then they hook up! What a surprise! I think the book would have been better if it had focused on just a couple story lines and themes.
I read this while I was on vacation and it was good for that purpose. It does not require a lot of undivided attention, it is easy to follow the story, and it is easy to pick up and put down. For me, the writing and the story are just okay. There are much better thrillers and mysteries out there.
Nan (Nancy) Lewis is on her way home from a faculty party when she hits a deer on the road where a drunk driver had killed her young daughter, Emmy, six years earlier. Very upset over being denied tenure at the college where she is teaching, she may have had too many glasses of wine at the faculty Christmas party. After hitting the deer, she leaves her car to search for it, but could find no trace of the deer. So she drives home. The next morning she learns that one of her students, Leia Dawson, was killed by a hit and run driver in the same spot where she had hit the deer.
Although convinced she hit a deer, her memory of the night Leia died is confusing. She fell asleep (or passed out?) in the woods while searching for the injured deer and dreams of the accident that claimed the life of her own daughter. Objects left at the scene of the "deer" accident seem to point to Hannah Mulder, the drunk driver who killed Nan’s daughter. But the question remains, who killed Leia and why? Was it truly an accident or something more sinister? Will Nan come to terms with her drinking problem, her failed marriage and the loss of her own daughter at the hands of a drunk driver?
River Road by Carol Goodman is a compelling mystery. The characters are very likable despite their all too human flaws. The plot is full of twists and turns and the use of decoys and smoke screens, successfully hides the true identity of the "hit and run driver" for a good part of the novel. A whodunit that I highly recommend to readers who like a good mystery.
Most recent customer reviews
The audiobook River Road by Carol Goodman, Narrated by Madeleine Maby is defintiely 5-stars across the board!Read more