Book tip: "Cemetery Girl"

David Bell

NAL/Penguin

Anyone who's struggled to write and legitimately publish fiction probably attends boot camps and literary conferences. Along the way, you meet and befriend similar warriors - and it's always cool when one of them hits the home run. David Bell, with whom I've tipped more than one beer in a hotel bar at weekend novel-writer getaways, has officially kicked some ass. This debut thriller is a dark and melancholy story about the disintigration of a marriage after the couple's daughter, an only child, vanishes. After years - during which Mom assumes she's dead and tries to move on while Dad won't give up hope - the girl resurfaces but won't breathe a word of what happened or where she's been. Heartbreaking and twisty - and good on you, Dave!

- RICK KOSTER

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