Book Review: Locust Lane

LOCUST LANE | Stephen Amidon
01.17.2023 | Celadon Books
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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On the surface, Emerson, Massachusetts, is just like any other affluent New England suburb. But when a young woman is found dead in the nicest part of town, the powerful neighbors close ranks to keep their families safe. In this searing novel, Eden Perry’s death kicks off an investigation into the three teenagers who were partying with her that night, each a suspect. Hannah, a sweet girl with an unstable history. Jack, the popular kid with a mean streak. Christopher, an outsider desperate to fit in. Their parents, each with motivations of their own, only complicate the picture: they will do anything to protect their children, even at the others’ expense.

There’s something about a book set in a small town featuring families tied together because of a mysterious circumstance that instantly piques my interest. Locust Lane is told through the narrative voices of 5 main characters, which might seem like a lot, but doesn’t feel that way when you’re reading. Amidon smartly chooses to cluster these narratives together by day instead of simply alternating chapters between the characters. I thought that this structural choice made it very easy to distinguish each character from the other and track their plotline. Naturally, the narrator’s lives are all intersecting throughout this story and Amidon does a great job making sure each character shares their viewpoints on the same situations. 

The story itself has a bit of a predictable quality to it simply based on the nature of the crime and the setting. I didn’t feel that my ability to correctly guess what might happen next hindered my experience while reading. I found myself embracing and enjoying the way Amidon structured the reveals for twists.

🎧: I listened to this one as an audiobook, which I highly recommend checking out! The narrator does a fantastic job distinguishing between each character and bringing them to life.

A huge thank you to Celadon Books for my gifted copy and NetGalley for my free audio copy!

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