cover image The Secrets on Chicory Lane

The Secrets on Chicory Lane

Raymond Benson. Skyhorse, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-5107-2294-1

At the start of this unsettling thriller from Benson (Artifact of Evil), Shelby Truman, a popular romance writer who lives in Chicago, receives a message from Eddie Newcott, a childhood friend and past lover with whom she hasn’t spoken in 20 years. Eddie wants to see Shelby before his imminent execution for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend in a satanic ritual. The night before Shelby is due to meet Eddie at a Texas prison, she recalls how Eddie, the son of an abusive father, started acting out violently, dropped out of high school, and enlisted in the army to fight in Vietnam. Shelby also dwells on the guilt she felt over her role in the disappearance of her baby brother, Michael, in 1966. Shelby’s mother, who blamed Shelby for Michael’s abduction, plunged into a crippling depression that lasted the rest of her life. As the story proceeds through Eddie’s tormented life, the clues to Eddie’s big secret become transparently obvious, yet readers will keep turning the pages. (Oct.)