For this blog tour, we’re looking at a solid thriller that perhaps touches a little *too* close to comfort for some in a particular subculture. For this blog tour, we’re looking at In A Quiet Town by Amber Garza.
Solid Thriller With At Times Confusing Timeline / Character Splits. Reading this book the weekend of the funeral of yet another of the former kids I was in a small church, small town youth group with back in my teens was… interesting, to say the least. Because in its depiction of how at least some Christian pastors live… it was sadly all too real. I’ve seen the devastation among friends when their lives don’t measure up to the perfection their parents, be they pastors or deacons, project, and I’ve seen some kids rise from troubled and/ or troublesome youths to upstanding adults. I’ve also seen those that maintained the perfect image as kids… unravel as adults. Here, Garza does a particularly solid job of showing a woman who is both a preacher’s wife and a mother to her daughter waking up and realizing what is truly important… just in the nick of time. There is quite a bit of abuse here, both the psychological abuse of having to live up to the Pastor’s standards – and being rejected when you don’t – and outright physical abuse by others. This story is also yet another missing woman story. So know all of this going in, and if you have particular issues with any of it… know this may not be the best book for you.
Other than the more-often-than-not confusing breaks between multiple characters’ perspectives and seemingly random jumping from one to another to another, the pacing and actual story here are remarkably well done. This is truly an excellent tale, and particularly well told… once you adapt to the jumps in perspective. The motivations of the characters are quite vivid and real, again, particularly for someone who came out of a very similar subculture, and even when other motivations of other characters are revealed… they still work quite well within the story being told, and it makes sense (at least to me, with my own life experiences) that being drawn into these types of orbits… is sadly all too plausible.
Overall, an excellent if darker tale, mostly well told, and a good bit of escapist thrills… for those who haven’t actually lived remarkably similar tales. Very much recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from the book, followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, social media and buy links.
His hands were in her hair, fingers threaded through the silky strands. I knew what it felt like. My fingers had been buried in her hair many times, including last night. When their lips met I sat up straighter, leaning forward. It didn’t feel real. I worked my jaw. It popped and clicked. My own mouth buzzed with the memory of how her lips felt on mine.
The kiss was long. Too long.
She liked it.
My shoulder muscles pulled tight, a rubber band being stretched beyond its limits. I thought they might snap.
The two of them drew back. She smiled. Smiled with the same lips that had smiled at me. Kissed me. Told me they loved me. Clearly, a lie.
She brushed back her hair, and the diamond on her finger sparkled.
Her ring. The one I’d given her. She was wearing it.
It felt like a punch to the gut. Like a big “fuck you” to me.
It wasn’t like she knew I’d followed her. But still… Shouldn’t she take her engagement ring off before she hooked up with another dude?
Throwing her head back, her neck exposed, she giggled.
Imagining my hands wrapping around that tender flesh, I squeezed the steering wheel. It gave under the pressure, and I squeezed harder. It felt good. Therapeutic. I pictured her terrified. Pleading. Mouth tight, eyes bulging. I squeezed and squeezed, my teeth grinding, the vein in my forehead throbbing. My muscles ached by the time I released my grip.
Their hands clasped. My breathing was labored as I watched them walk off together, around the side of the building, out of sight.
I’d loved her. Given her so much.
How dare she?
No one made a fool out of me.
She wouldn’t get away with this. Not by a long shot.
In this chilling new novel, a pastor’s wife discovers that her estranged daughter is missing, but no one will believe her, until she meets a man claiming to be her daughter’s fiancé.
The book is about Tatum, a woman who secretly reconnects with her estranged adult daughter—secretly because Adrienne’s been all but disowned by Tatum’s husband, a pastor at the church in their small California town, where every move is watched and reported by his congregation. When Adrienne doesn’t show up for her shift at the bar where Tatum’s been visiting her, she knows something is wrong. Adrienne may have been a bit of wild child, but she hasn’t missed a day of work without calling in for years.
Tatum tries desperately to get the police or her husband to take her daughter’s disappearance seriously, until a mysterious man shows up claiming to be Adrienne’s fiancé. It’s a relief to finally have someone who believes her and is trying as hard as she is to find out where Adrienne is. But can she trust that this stranger is really who he says he is? And can she find her daughter before it’s too late?
Amber Garza has had a passion for the written word since she was a child making books out of notebook paper and staples. Her hobbies include reading and singing. Coffee and wine are her drinks of choice (not necessarily in that order). She writes while blaring music, and talks about her characters like they’re real people. She lives with her husband and two kids in Folsom, California.
Author website: https://ambergarza.com/