August 30, 1999 12:00 PM

by Alice Blanchard

Beach book of the week

A shadow hangs over Flowering Dogwood, and no one feels it more than Rachel Storrow. Eighteen years earlier the Maine hamlet was shaken by the murder of a girl with Down syndrome followed by a tragedy involving its police chief—Rachel’s father—during the unsuccessful investigation. Now a member of the force herself, Rachel feels drawn to reopen the case, especially once she hears whispers that her older brother was a prime suspect.

The terrifying plot thickens faster than a Penobscot Bay fog in this arresting first novel by short-story writer Alice Blanchard. But what make the mystery truly haunting are Blanchard’s deft portrait of a town, her blighted, dead-on characters and the evocative style. Bantam, $23.95)

Bottom Line: Heartrending suspense debut

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