Friday, April 2, 2021

The Distant Dead by Heather Young

It’s Friday! Today I’m a stop on the Random Things Tour for Heather Young’s The Distant Dead.

The new math teacher has been murdered. 

A small town in Nevada, where nothing really happens, is the unfortunate scene of a shocking murder. A local math teacher who had only recently moved to town has been found burned to death. And it was one of his own students who discovered the body. 

Adam Merkel was quiet, but he'd managed to form a few strong bonds in the short time he'd been in Lovelock. No one has any idea why he'd be killed. It's a fellow teacher who makes it her goal to find out who would want him dead. 

The Distant Dead is a sneaky kind of book. It wasn't at all what I'd expected—but in such a good way!

This is the kind of book you want to savor. The narrative shifts between Sal, a quiet boy with a big imagination who'd been befriended by Merkel, and Nora, a fellow teacher in Lovelock. 

Both Sal and Nora shine through Young's prose! And Merkel, even though he's dead, is so vividly painted through their eyes and their stories. 

Both Sal and Nora know loss. They both know loneliness, too. And though Merkel is clearly a damaged person, which the reader can glean from the very first interactions between him and the other characters, he brings something wonderful out in both Sal and Nora. Which is why Nora in particular is determined to find out who killed him. 

The Distant Dead is that wonderful blend of captivating storytelling under the guise of suspense that turns into something much different. To tell what that is would be spoiler-y but I will tell you that this is a bit of a sad story that will stick with you long after you turn the final pages. 

The Distant Dead is out now in the UK from Verve. It's also out in hardcover here in the States and due out in paperback in August. 


Anne said...

Thanks for the blog tour support x

Vince Luzon said...

Hi thanks for posting thhis