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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
A Kind of Hush by JoDee Neathery is a tale about profound loss that is shrouded in mystery. One of the biggest heartaches that parents can experience is the tragic loss of a child. Matt and Summer married in 2002. They adopted Willa and they added their son Griff the next year. Gabe completed their family in 2005. A heartbreaking accident took the life of their six-year-old Griff. Just as they were beginning to put the pieces of their lives together, another tragedy occurred. During their trip to Zoar Valley Gorge, Matt, Willa, and Summer fall from a cliff. Summer doesn’t survive, and this throws the family into another cycle of grief. Deputy Sheriff Conner Boyle intends to find out if the tragedy is purely an accident or foul play, as Matt and Summer may have made enemies in the past. One name that crops up is a registered sex offender named Victor Kurtz.
A Kind of Hush is a powerful mystery drama with all the usual trimmings of police procedure and the intensity of family relationships in crisis. JoDee Neathery places the story in a plausible world, where the setting pervades your senses and the characters feel like the folks you would typically meet at an outdoor activity. Even as a pedophile, Victor fits into the realm of stark realism. Neathery has a good grasp on the nature of grief and uses it as the dominant emotion to tug at your senses. It is also the novel’s subtext that shows how grief can be leveraged as a coping mechanism when tragedy strikes repeatedly. It is a brilliant story, one that is a must-read for its great plot, character, setting, and theme.