It begins as a romantic adventure. It ended with a pile of corpses.

It’s clear, from candid flashbacks, that the two women – Amma and Brittany – are both hiding past traumas and that what can best be described as personal problems yet. be solved. But they’re not the only sketchy characters.

There’s also Meroe: Jake and Eliza, a hot couple with a boat full of booze and valuable secrets of several continents, and Robbie, who answered the casting call for White Trash Guy. He was the kind of customer, Lux thought, in her job as a waitress, who “ordered the Pabst Blue Ribbon and had his eyes gliding over our slime-bare feet.” (Indeed, he drinks beer for breakfast.)

But although Robbie whitewashed their radio, thereby delaying their departure, he might not even be the most dangerous guest, or the one with the most paradoxical story. “Accidents happen very easily here,” said one of the women. “A million different ways to die.”

The ending is like the great moment in “Body Heat” when the camera swoops down to reveal the identity of the last person standing at the end of all the mess. Who will it be?

THE OVERNIGHT GUEST (Park Row, 335 pages, $28.99) is a bland title for Heather Gudenkauf’s unbearably gripping new novel. It deals with a boy that Wylie Lark finds almost freezing to death when a storm rages outside the rented house where she is writing her latest book, about a terrible crime that happened there two previous decade. (Suspend your skepticism about the unlikely possibility of stalking a remote old crime scene during a puny Iowa winter, especially when you’ve made your cell phone cannot work by dropping it in a puddle of ice.)

Wylie’s battles against the weather and other opponents, even worse, form part of the story. The second part describes the rise and fall of past crimes that hurt communities and left a couple dead, their young daughter shot in a cornfield, and two others missing. The third thread, will be familiar to those who have read “Room, ” Tells about a woman and her child being held captive by a man who repeatedly comes to terrorize them. Each narration is fully realized, completely and almost painfully suspenseful. Readers will form theories about how they fit together and will be only partially correct. Having apparently revealed the recipe for the intricate cake she intends to bake, Gudenkauf introduces a secret ingredient late in the game that could change everything. The ending is a bit overwhelming after so much tension, but the journey is enchanting. It begins as a romantic adventure. It ended with a pile of corpses.

Fry Electronics Team

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