A dark, gut-wrenching exploration of the barren, desolate wasteland of grief & awakening to hope for the future
I started this read a few edits ago. It released early, so I decided to start from the beginning.
I loved Mickey’s little journey to the darker side. There is still some of his signature humor but a bit more cynical than usual. This is not a lighthearted read.
Black Mountain is not a happy or thriving town. Set in the cold, snowy Upper Peninsula of Michigan, there was a pervasive feel of cold as I read Shane & Natalie’s story.
They are both grieving. Natalie; for her recently deceased father, the reason she has come back to Black Mountain after years away; and Shane; for his father, sister, and himself; although he hasn’t faced all his losses fully. A fact that plays a role in his actions.
Natalie has unknowingly stumbled into a town that hates her. That she once called home and has happy memories of, but is now met with suspicion and resentment she doesn’t understand, because she is about to learn her father wasn’t the man she thought he was.
Shane, the only person she knows there, does not welcome her with open arms. And she discovers his sister, the girl she remembers as her best friend, died. She is confused by all of this since her parents kept it all from her.
Shane has hated & resented her for years because of things her father did. When face to face with her, he finds his present at odds with the pain of his past.
Dark, full of sorrow, revenge, coldness, but also some hope, change, a realization that something needs to change, or nothing will improve.
I loved Shane. His dark into light journey is a journey we can all relate to on some level.
While not full of Mickey’s usual humor, this novel does not skimp on the heat. Natalie and Shane’s chemistry is sizzling. The only heat in the cold barren landscape of both their hearts & Black Mountain. It also has a strong thread of suspense.
I received a review copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.