By Andrée A. Michaud
Published by No Exit Press (23 March 2017)
It's the Summer of 1967. The sun shines brightly over Boundary Pond, a holiday haven on the US-Canadian border. Families relax in the heat, happy and carefree. Hours tick away to the sound of radios playing 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' and 'A Whiter Shade of Pale'. Children run along the beach as the heady smell of barbecues fills the air.
Zaza Mulligan and Sissy Morgan, with their long, tanned legs and silky hair, relish their growing reputation as the red and blonde Lolitas. Life seems idyllic.
But then Zaza disappears, and the skies begin to cloud over...
Boundary is a slow burning literary crime novel set on the border between the US and Canada in 1967.
Driving the book is the death of two teenage girls in a holiday town that's popular with families. These best friends were on the cusp of womanhood, often mistaken for twins, enjoying their freedom and flirting with the boys and men. This idyllic setting seemed like a safe place for women and children over the summer months, their husbands returning every weekend after their working week. But the summer of sunshine and laughter turned to one of fear, distrust and paranoia, as the darkness of death descended on the community.
The narrative assesses the impact the girls' deaths have on Andrea, a 12-year-old girl, and the police officer in charge of the case. The writing is haunting and atmospheric - beautiful, in fact, with highly descriptive evocative poetic passages. The stunning setting felt as alive as the well-developed characters themselves.
This is a multi-layered whodunnit set against a backdrop of mysterious woods and the legend of a trapper who committed suicide in them. It's also a coming of age novel, as Andrea loses her childhood innocence and becomes more aware of the dangers around her.
The book isn't always an easy read. It took me a while to get used to the style, as there's no dialogue, so it may not appeal to everyone. But I persisted, and looked beyond this, eventually immersing myself into this intelligent character-led story.
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