Some reviewers have said that readers who’ve read the author’s first book, The Gates of Evangeline, will get more from The Shimmering Road. I can’t say whether they are right or not, but this certainly works as a standalone novel, even if there are a few references which might have meant more if I’d read the previous book.
Charlie and Noah are in that strange state that exists when a couple are expecting a child. Knowing their lives are about to change, but uncertain about what sort of future they want together, or where it should be.
While Noah wants to put down roots in his home town, Charlie is less sure, and her uncertainty isn’t helped by vivid dreams which seem to suggest she and her unborn daughter are in danger.
As if that’s not enough to cope with, news comes that her estranged mother and a half sister she didn’t know about murdered, leaving behind a young girl.
I can’t say how accurate her depiction of Texas is, but there is a real sense of place in Young’s writing.
As Noah and Charlie set off to uncover what happened, their journey takes them across the Mexican border to a world that’s very different to the one they know. Drugs and women are as readily available as streetfood. Little wonder so many are so determined to head north across the border, even if, in the real world, one man is currently determined to build a wall to make it harder.
The book takes some time to get going, but it’s none the worse for that. If a story is worth telling, it’s surely worth telling well? A slow-burning mystery with plenty of twists to keep the reader guessing how it will end.