Saturday, February 17, 2024

BOOK REVIEW: Beach of the Dead by Cynthia J. Bogard

 New release!

Beach of the Dead by Cynthia J. Bogard is Book Two of the Heartland Trilogy, picking up where Book One, A History of Silence, leaves off. Although this novel can stand alone, there are spoilers in it for book one, so you might want to read book one first, for maximum punch.

Set in 1986, Beach of the Dead follows Jane Meyer in the aftermath of the murder of her lover, Johnny. Jane is the killer. And while the homicide was justifiable, she knows that any jury in Texas will convict her. So she flees across the border to Mexico, adopting a new name, Ana Jimenéz, and a whole new identity. With the help of a kind stranger, which blossoms into the kindnesses of strangers, she makes her way to a beach paradise, Zipolite. (In the native Zapotec language, Zipolite means “Beach of the Dead,” so named because of the strong current that sweeps away unwary swimmers.)

On the beach, she finds a collection of American tourists living a communal lifestyle, taken care of by a local indigenous woman. During the day, life is idyllic. But at night, Ana is haunted by what she has done, by the trauma of her past, and by fear of what the future holds. Can Ana ever feel safe if she is living a lie? 

A beautiful novel of love and redemption, Beach of the Dead is a wonderful continuation of the Heartland Trilogy.

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