That is the haunting premise of "Bury This," an impressionistic literary thriller about the murder of a young girl in small-town Michigan in 1979. Read more...
That is the haunting premise of "Bury This," an impressionistic literary thriller about the murder of a young girl in small-town Michigan in 1979. Beth Krause was by all intents a good little girl - member of the church choir, beloved daughter of doting parents, friend to the downtrodden. But dig a little deeper into any small town, and conflicts and jealousies begin to appear. And somewhere is that heady mix lies the answer to what really happened to Beth Krause.
Her unsolved murder becomes the stuff of town legend, and twenty-five years later the case is re-ignited when a group of film students start making a documentary on Beth's fateful life. The town has never fully healed over the loss of Beth, and the new investigation calls into light several key characters: her father, a WWII vet; her mother, once the toast of Manhattan; her best friend, abandoned by her mother and left to fend for herself against an abusive father; and the detective, just a rookie when the case broke, haunted by his inability to bring Beth's murderer to justice. All of these passions will collide once the identity of Beth's murderer is revealed, proving once again that some secrets can never stay buried.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-10-14
- Reviewer: Staff
A new effort to close an unsolved murder case reopens old wounds in this enigmatic novel from the author of Hick and Anatomy of a Misfit. In Muskegon, Mich., 25 years have passed since a hapless snowplow operator discovered 22-year-old Elizabeth Krause’s body off Route 31. The homicide investigation, overseen by then-rookie detective Samuel Barnett, lies dormant for decades, until a documentary made by local college students renews interest in the case. Barnett gets back in touch with Beth’s friends and family, including her stoically resigned parents, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Charles and Dorothy Krause, and her pitiable best friend, Shauna Boggs. With their help, Barnett hopes to put to rest a murder that has haunted the small town for too long. Portes’s short chapters and staccato narration make for a quick and compulsive read. She is also adept at exploring her characters’ insecurities: Barnett’s fears that he has botched the case, Shauna’s envy of her virtuous best friend, and ever-innocent Beth’s longing to experience more in life. As a whodunit, the novel is somewhat lackluster, but as a study in human nature, it’s a triumph. In Muskegon, and perhaps in life, the guilty aren’t the only ones with secrets to keep. Agent: Katie Shea, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Jan.)