Publication Date: Available Now from No Exit Press
Source: Review Copy
Where deep woods cover the Maine border, blending together two countries and two languages, the summer of 1967 is a time of fear. Teenage beauties Sissy Morgan and Zaza Mulligan wander among the vacation cottages in the community of Boundary, attracting the attention of boys and men, before they’re found gruesomely murdered — felled by long-dead woodsman’s bear traps. Andrée, the little girl whose name nobody can pronounce, watches the police investigate, unaware of how profoundly these events will impact her passage into womanhood.
Boundary is a challenging book to read – one which rewards a readers patience but takes its time to immerse you into – it is tense and atmospheric, a slow burn of a tale with an edgy sense of place, my main love for this book came within the language used and the coming of age aspects, rather than with the mystery elements.
Boundary follows a community bereaved – not only of the two girls who die but of their safe place, their haven from the real world. Told mostly from the points of view of the detective investigating the deaths and Andree a young girl who was fascinated and enthralled by the two free spirited teenagers, this is a story of innocence lost, of that moment when a grown up world invades a child’s easy existence and changes them forever.
The fascination here came as the community collapsed in on itself – as the realisation set in that this place was no longer a safe place – there is an ethereal, waif like feeling to the writing that makes you occasionally crazy but really digs deep into the characters and the setting. This is not a novel that has huge twists and turns, the eventual reveal is gently jolting – but more an exploration of how violence affects individuals and their wider world. The mythology elements in relation to the wilderness surrounding the location is quietly haunting – a terrible beauty that gives an anchor to the rest.
Overall I loved Boundary – but I would caution that it won’t be for everyone. For me as a reader I just loved the writing. The crime aspects are not unique but the characters certainly are – and ultimately I was extremely taken with this and it stayed with me for a while after reading it.
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