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Showing 1-10 of 19 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 35 reviews
on March 2, 2014
As noted in other reviews, this is not really a mystery as much as a coming-of-age story. There is a LOT of family dysfunction here, too much to be quite believable....every child in the story has parents with "issues". Another reviewer has noted that the narrative skips around, for no read on, which made me think that the author was writing random episodes to fill pages. The story would be more effective if it were told in a cohesive manner. If you like coming-of-age stories set in Texas, try the WONDERFUL books by Joe R. Lansdale ("The Bottoms", "A Fine Dark Line", "The Thicket")
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on March 20, 2013
This book is a real pleasure to read. Tom Wright has created a wonderful coming-of-age story about two teeanagers who have both escaped bad family situations by coming to live with their grandmother in a small Texas town in the 1960's. They try to rebuild some sense of normalcy and security in their grandmother's home, despite a constant sense of imminent danger triggered by the discovery of a naked teenaged girl's body near the railroad tracks. The author does a lovely job describing the small-town setting and the era and creating the sense of a summer that drags on forever when there is no school. And the ending is very satisfying, as the two teenagers triumph over the evil around them in a credible way. What a wonderful book!
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on September 7, 2015
What a terrific book! I don't generally like "coming of age" books, but this is a hands-down terrific book. It is well-written with a deft hand. The author can make us laugh at a turn of phrase, or bleed for the characters. If this is his debut, what exciting things we can expect! More! The sense of place is spot-on, the characters are clearly limned, the story (while the tiniest bit predictable) is satisfying on all levels.
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on June 24, 2015
Combining elements of mystery and psychological thriller, the book is excellent. I intend to follow the author; wish I could follow the characters! Very lifelike and present. Most enjoyable.
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Author Tom Wright is a practicing psychologist, which makes much of what happens in WHAT DIES IN SUMMER a bit surprising.

The main characters, narrator Jim "Biscuit" and his cousin Lee Ann "L.A.", are likable and interesting, especially L.A., who marches to her own drummer. I sort of pictured Macy Gray as Wright keeps talking about her unruly, fly away hair.

There's a serial killer loose in the area around Plano, Texas, where these kids live, along with Biscuit's girlfriend Diana, whose father just happens to be a homicide detective. Biscuit has the sight, sort of, and he keeps seeing a dead girl in his dreams. Then he and L.A. find the very same girl Biscuit's been seeing in his dreams dead. L.A. almost trips over her while they're out walking.

Both L.A. and Biscuit live with their grandmother, a church going lady, with two of the worst daughters imaginable. L.A.'s mother Rachel refuses to believe her father Cam has been "messing" with her, and Biscuit's mother won't protect him from her live in love interest, Jack, who imagines himself a professional boxer, when he knocks Biscuit around.

After the discovery of the body, the police connect this murder with two previous ones with the same M.O. The killer poses the girls after he murders them and he mutilates their bodies.

There's an interesting friendship between Gram and Dr. Kepler who see each other at their weekly book club meetings. Dr. Kepler is a confirmed atheist but she doesn't have a problem with Gram's beliefs. She's also dying of cancer.

Smack dab in the middle of the murder investigation Diana, her father and their mother take Biscuit to Minnesota to try to catch muskies, who sound a whole lot more vicious than I`ve been led to believe. Tom Wright screws up a lot of geography along the way; he's got Mille Lacs in Iowa and Bemidji just a few miles from the Canadian border. But he uses Duck Lake, which I'm pretty sure is fictional, as the muskie fishing site. Apparently these fifty pages are just there to advance a subplot between Biscuit and Diana. Anyway, if there was a serial killer running around loose, apparently targeting your best friend, L.A., would you run off to Minnesota fishing? Oh, yes, Biscuit finds teeth marks on the window sill outside L.A.'s window prior to leaving.

The ending is even worse. The killer is too predictable and our learned psychologist never gets around to explaining the motivation for the posing etc.
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on January 25, 2013
While ther was plenty of death in this book, there was little mystery. It is more a coming-of-age story of 2 teenagers.
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on August 21, 2013
Nice summer read. Funny and engaging and heartwarming. Has elements of a supernatural thriller, mystery, and a coming-of-age story all combined. 'the ending is a little rushed, but overall satisfying.
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on January 23, 2013
Loved this book. Very well-written, with just enough twists to keep you reading into the night.
I will definitely be excited to read more stories from this author.
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on August 3, 2015
This is a great book! I highly recommend it.
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on June 15, 2013
the author captures the feel of coming of age in the 60's, could have been any family I knew. I was a bit disappointed with the ending, but it was still worth the read.
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