Book Review: Pyres

When fifteen-year-old Lucia Moberg pestered her father into driving her to the mall one rainy evening she couldn’t possibly imagined the cascading effect that trip would have. Nervous after almost getting caught shoplifting a music CD, Lucia meets her father at the bookstore and talks him into leaving early. Pretending to be sick, she hides from possible mall security by laying in the back seat of the car so she never saw the man who pounded on the driver’s side window demanding money. Her father attempted to evade the robber but was shot in the head and died instantly, leaving the stunned teenager trying to answer detective Greta Hurd’s questions while grappling with what happened. In a surprising bit a role reversal, Lucia must take care of her judgmental mother but shortly, that ends up being the least of her problems. She’s delusional, seeing a strange little man who leads her into finding $5,000 hidden in the washroom and that’s just for starters, before long Lucia is fighting for her life and discovers a terrible secret along the way.

Interwoven with the main story are a couple of nicely done subplots involving a pregnant young woman trying to create a safe harbor within the ranks of a hardcore outlaw gang and detective Greta trying to put her life experiences in order. The climax is chilling with plenty of twists, turns and suspense to keep the pages turning and readers engaged. Lucia makes for a surprisingly capable protagonist who must sacrifice her heart for her life, a decision that will likely haunt her forever.

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