Death by the River
by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor
Vesuvian Books

"Then there was his prize. He had plans for taking her, taming her, and teaching her the lessons she deserved."

In the small Louisiana town of St. Benedict, the Devereaux family has wielded most of the power for generations. Through their brewery, they are the largest employer in town, and the only heir to the family, Beau, is set to inherit the company. But Beau has no interest in taking over the family business; he wants to pursue a career in football as well as pursue the girl of his dreams, Leslie Moore. Prone to anger and used to swinging his clout around, Beau dates Leslie’s twin sister Dawn, all the while harassing Leslie to break her will down. But for Beau, his possessive manipulations soon escalate wildly out of control, and what started as sleeping with some girls behind Dawn’s back turns into twisted, sinister urges to dominate at all costs, putting the lives of everyone around him at risk.

Rare is the story that simmers and rises to a boil so naturally and constantly that the reader manages to be repeatedly shocked. Right away, the relational dynamics between Leslie and her twin sister, Leslie and Beau’s advances, and Leslie’s boyfriend Derek and his nemesis Beau are laid out plainly for the audience to see. These simple interactions create the framework that sends the reader on a full-speed rollercoaster that doesn’t slow down until the final page. There are dark, violent, and sexual themes throughout the book, so while the characters may be in high school, this story is geared toward a mature audience. Employing an evocative setting, powerfully defined characters, and taking a long hard look at the darker side of human desire, this novel will catch your breath and hold it until the very end.

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