Title: Pray for the Girl
Author: Joseph Souza
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Page Count: 352
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
Joseph Souza, acclaimed author of The Neighbor, brings readers into the dark heart of a small town in this riveting, relentlessly twisting new novel . . .
Lucy Abbott never pictured herself coming back to Fawn Grove, Maine. Yet after serving time in Afghanistan, then years spent as a sous chef in New York, she’s realized her only hope of moving on from the past involves facing it again. But Fawn Grove, like Lucy herself, has changed.
Lucy’s sister, Wendy, is eager to help her adapt, almost stifling her with concern. At the local diner, Lucy is an exotic curiosity—much like the refugees who’ve arrived in recent years. When a fifteen-year-old Muslim girl is found murdered along the banks of the river, difficult memories of Lucy’s time overseas come flooding back and she feels an automatic connection. At first glance, the tragedy looks like an honor killing. But the more Lucy learns about her old hometown, the less certain that seems.
There is menace and hostility here, clothed in neighborly smiles and a veneer of comfort. And when another teen is found dead in a cornfield, his throat slit, Lucy—who knows something about hiding secrets—must confront a truth more brutal than she could have imagined, in the last place she expected it . . .
Having read The Neighbor by Joseph Souza last year and remembering all the twists and turns in that story I knew I needed to read Pray for the Girl. Pray for the Girl again showcased that Joseph Souza seems to have completely mastered shock and awe in his novels.
In Pray for the Girl Lucy Abbott has returned to her hometown of Fawn Grove, Maine which she really didn’t think she’d see again not having such fond memories of the town. After fifteen years away, some while serving in Afghanistan where she was injured and lost both legs and now has prosthetic legs and then becoming a sous chef in New York, it’s now time to go back.
Hiding from the hustle and bustle of her New York life Lucy tries to make a way for herself in Fawn Grove. When Lucy hears the story of a murdered 15 year old Afghani refugee she feels a pull to solve the case thinking she may be the only one who would try to get justice for the girl.
When reading The Neighbor I didn’t particularly like the characters but the plot drew me in and made me curious only to discover a very twisted tale. Pray for the Girl definitely reminded me of those same feelings starting off although I will say these characters were not as bad and grew on me but the surprises are most definitely still present. Just as I started to think the book was becoming a bit slow a wake up call picked it all up and carried it on out so yes, another solid thriller readers should enjoy.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Before launching his writing career, Joseph Souza worked as an intelligence analyst for the Drug Enforcement Agency (Organized Crime Unit) in Washington, D.C. His award‑winning short fiction and essays have been published in literary journals throughout the country. He lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and two children.