Long Black Veil

Long Black Veil

A Novel

eBook - 2017
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Random House, Inc.
Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2017

For fans of Donna Tartt and Megan Abbott, a novel about a woman whose family and identity are threatened by the secrets of her past, from the New York Times bestselling author of She's Not There

On a warm August night in 1980, six college students sneak into the dilapidated ruins of Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary, looking for a thrill. With a pianist, a painter and a teacher among them, the friends are full of potential. But it’s not long before they realize they are locked in—and not alone. When the friends get lost and separated, the terrifying night ends in tragedy, and the unexpected, far-reaching consequences reverberate through the survivors’ lives. As they go their separate ways, trying to move on, it becomes clear that their dark night in the prison has changed them all. Decades later, new evidence is found, and the dogged detective investigating the cold case charges one of them—celebrity chef Jon Casey— with murder. Only Casey’s old friend Judith Carrigan can testify to his innocence.

But Judith is protecting long-held secrets of her own – secrets that, if brought to light, could destroy her career as a travel writer and tear her away from her fireman husband and teenage son. If she chooses to help Casey, she risks losing the life she has fought to build and the woman she has struggled to become. In any life that contains a “before” and an “after,” how is it possible to live one life, not two?

Weaving deftly between 1980 and the present day, and told in an unforgettable voice, Long Black Veil is an intensely atmospheric thriller that explores the meaning of identity, loyalty, and love. Readers will hail this as Boylan’s triumphant return to fiction.

Publisher: New York : Crown/Archetype, 2017
ISBN: 9780451496348
Branch Call Number: EBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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May 17, 2019


Jun 07, 2017

There's a lot of good stuff in this character-based thriller: a creepy & effective opening in an abandoned prison, a sensitive meditation on being a transwoman from the stealth generation, some clever plotting, and a lot of literary allusions. But for me it felt overstuffed, like two excellent books sewn together that got in each other's way. One story (which I enjoyed more) is about Judith, a trans heroine (and explicit Christ figure), integrating the two halves of her life; the other is a character-based mystery plot, in which the point isn't the obvious whodunit (which the book makes clear early on), but how the crime has affected the lives of everyone involved, innocent or guilty. I liked the author's use of first- and third-person to differentiate Judith's true self from the facade she had created, but it didn't help the book cohere. I think mystery/thriller fans (especially those looking for a trans heroine) might enjoy it more than I did.

multcolib_susannel Apr 29, 2017

It's a mystery: six college friends explore an abandoned prison, but only five come out. Years later a body is found....


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