When three-year-old Harry goes missing, the whole of America turns its attention to one small town.
Everyone is eager to help. Everyone is a suspect.
Desperate mother Jess, whose grief is driving her to extreme measures.
Newcomer Jared, with an easy charm and a string of broken hearts in his wake.
Photographer Jerry, who's determined to break away from his controlling mother once and for all.
And, investigating them all, a police chief with a hidden obsession of his own . . .
In Chris Whitaker's brilliant and original debut novel, missing persons, secret identities and dangerous lies abound in a town as idiosyncratic as its inhabitants."
I always know when a book has completely blown me away - as a reader, I want to weep because I've finished it and I will never again get to experience it for the first time, and as a writer, it makes me want to weep because I wish I had written it myself. THIS IS ONE OF THOSE BOOKS.
I raced through this debut novel, unable to put it down. Set in small-town America and filled with some of the most exciting characters I have seen in fiction for ages, this is a intriguingly twisty story that will net Chris Whitaker a TON of fans.
The main focus of the story is a missing child, but the townspeople of Tall Oaks all have their own secrets to keep. The author manages to weave these stories tightly together flawlessly, leaving the reader wondering exactly what their secrets are and what really did happen to Harry Monroe, before tying things up in an OH-MY-GOD climax. There are SO MANY wonderful characters that pop up throughout this novel - Manny being my favourite. (Manny is marvellous, so marvellous that I think I could read a book just about Manny BY HIMSELF.)
Darkly funny, reminiscent of Jamie Kornegay's Soil, this is like Fargo, but better. Bravo, Chris Whitaker, you've made my top ten of the year already.
Tall Oaks is out in Ebook now, paperback coming September 2016. You can get your copy here: