THE SHIMMERING ROAD by Hester Young

shimmeringroad
Series: Charlie Cates, #2
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Source: Penguin’s First to Read Program
Rating: ★★★★


A pulse-pounding mystery from the author of The Gates of Evangeline featuring Charlotte “Charlie” Cates, an unforgettable heroine whose dark visions bring to light secrets that will heal or destroy those around her…

When soon-to-be mother Charlotte “Charlie” Cates begins to have recurring dreams about harm coming to her unborn daughter, she knows these are not the nightmares of an anxious mom-to-be. They are the result of her mysterious gift. But before she can decipher what these dreams might mean, Charlie learns that the mother who abandoned her when she was a toddler is the victim of a double murder in Arizona. The other victim — Jasmine, a half-sister Charlie never knew she had — has left behind a child, a little girl who speaks to Charlie in her dreams and was present on the night of the murders. Convinced that she must help her orphaned niece, Charlie travels to Tucson, Arizona, where she must confront her painful ties to her mother and delve into her sister’s shadowy past.

To untangle the web of secrets that will reveal the truth of her nightmares, Charlie can no longer avoid her family’s checkered history. Who is in the racy photos that turned up in Jasmine’s apartment? Where is her niece’s father, whom Jasmine was rumored to have been seeing again on the sly? Was her mother’s charity work in Mexico really as selfless as it seemed? And most important of all, what did her niece really witness on the night of the murders?

The search for answers leads Charlie across the Mexican border, from the resort town of Rocky Point to the border town of Nogales, and elucidates the meaning of her dreams in most unexpected ways. Ultimately, to protect her niece and her unborn child, Charlie must battle not just evil but the forces of nature, in one final terrifying encounter in the Tucson desert.

A thrilling mystery that combines literary suspense and romance with a mystical twist that is unputdownable. If you love Kate Atkinson and Alice Sebold, you should not miss Hester Young.


Is there such a thing as a Southwestern Gothic? If so, this is it. THE SHIMMERING ROAD is an intriguing sequel to Hester Young’s first book, THE GATES OF EVANGELINE. (Read GATES first, so you’ll know the backstory.) Charlie’s paranormal gift brings her and fiancé Noah to Tucson, Arizona, and straight into a complex murder mystery that hits close to the heart. The story grabbed my attention pretty quickly, and of course, Charlie’s dark visions gave me the creeps. I was surprised by Charlie’s initial reaction to her orphaned niece, though by the end I could understand where she was coming from.

I enjoyed the desert setting of this book, both in southern Arizona and just across the border in Mexico. The author did a great job incorporating life in a Mexican-American border town into the mystery. Lots of interesting twists in the plot, and I was never sure what characters could be trusted. Definitely a page-turner!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Penguin’s First to Read Program in exchange for an honest review.

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