I remember the gunshots made a wet sort of sound, phssh phssh phssh, and each time he hit her she screamed. Do the math and the whole things probably went on for as long as ten minutes. I just stood there and watched.
Yates’ novel opens with that visceral passage, leaving little mystery as to what happened to Hannah. She was shot 49 times by her friend Matthew, while his friend Patch watched. This happened in August of 1982. In 2008, Hannah and Patch are married and living in New York City, seemingly happy. A chance encounter with Matthew sends all of their lives into a tailspin.
What they knew, how they felt, and what really happened is slowly unveiled in this literary thriller. Alternating between the past and the present, Christopher J. Yates masterfully weaves the tension, mania, and despair of the main characters together, creating a true page turner (even if I really did miss quotation marks). No one is fully innocent, but not one is fully guilty either. Grist Mill Road* reveals how anger, passion, history, and love bind us in the most unexpected ways.
*I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.