Face It Head On

Jeff Johns

3.5 Stars

December 16, 2017

The Roanoke Girls: A Novel – Amy Engel (Broadway Books)

Amy Engel, the author of the young adult series The Book of Ivy, serves up her first stab at adult fiction with the disturbing The Roanoke Girls. There’s a bit of psychological thriller to this, mixed with physical element, so I guess you could dub it a psycho-physical thriller.

Set on a rural family farm in Kansas it tells the tale of Lane Roanoke, who unknowingly escaped not only the farm and the physical terror she faced there, but also her family’s hidden secret. It is a family secret she kept locked away, from even herself.

Now years later the tumultuous events of the summer after her mother’s passing coming roaring back and Lane has to face it head on when her cousin Allegra goes missing. The result is a twisted novel the edges dangerously close to the cheesy at times. There are points along the way where Engel loses her grip on the tautness that truly separategreat thrillers from the merely good.