An art professor goes from predator to prey in this debut thriller.
In 2018, Max Durant, a once-acclaimed but now fading artist and art professor, is on a weekend trip to middle-of-nowhere Maine with Audra Colfax, his genius mentee. His plan? See how her thesis is getting along and finally consummate the sexual tension he’s sure has been sizzling between them since they met. Audra, on the other hand, is getting ready to spring a trap she’s been laying for years, with Max at the center. In 1988, a young instructor who goes by Juniper has returned to the Lupine Valley Arts Collective, a small camp in Maine that caters to artists of every type, and she’s ready to relax back into a place that’s like a second home. The addition of a new townie to the artist mix starts to shake things up, though, and Juniper's closest friend, Moss, is acting strangely. As all three will find out, the Lupine Valley is beautiful and hides its secrets very well. Exploring the story through Max's, Audra's, and Juniper’s points of view, as well as descriptions of Audra’s thesis, lets the narrative unfold easily and keeps the momentum up. This is much more of a howdunit than a whodunit; a curious reader will easily put the pieces together as they read. However, despite it being rather clear why things are happening, the question of how things are going to happen drives the reader forward. How is Audra’s trap going to unfold? What exactly did Max do to warrant this seeming revenge? And what happened between 1988 and 2018 for it to come to this? The ending will satisfy.
A dark tale of relationships, ambition, and revenge.