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Palatino for the Painter*

Mystery of Friend’s Past is Solved

In this second installment of the series, a ghost from Wren and Ruth’s past comes back to haunt them. Their dearest friend from high school in the 1980s disappeared back then. The girl’s parents just said she went to Nashville to seek fame and fortune as a singer, but the best friends knew that something wasn’t right, but no one would listen to the teenage girls. Flash forward to today, and the friend’s car is pulled out of the local lake on the same day that their deceased high school English teacher has left behind a set of eerie paintings of the lake for Ruth. What happened to their friend?

I enjoyed this second book in this series. The author does a good job setting up the small town of Thistlewood with a cast of fascinating characters and deep history that continues to be mined. As one who graduated in the 1980s myself, I thoroughly enjoyed all the ‘80s references in this story. The friendship aspect of this story was delightful as well, both the current friendship between Wren and Ruth and the friendship at the heart of the tragic flashback and the disappearance-turned-murder of their high school friend. I enjoyed watching the evolving relationships between various characters continue to evolve. The author provides a large amount of detail that makes the book feel real, like you’re really there and seeing the events, places, and things as everything unfolds, yet the narrative doesn’t feel overburdened by too much detail. An excellent mystery that is well grounded in believable characters and an intriguing plot.
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