Emily Ruskovich's prose is delicious, and reason enough to read Idaho. But paired with a mystery whose pages beg to be turned, the novel turns into an unusually compelling mixture of cerebral lyricism and emotional suspense. From the first paragraph Ruskovich settles the reader firmly in the lush wilds of Idaho, a character as much as any human in the story. Beauty and danger glint from different angles on each mountain rock, thick breezes carry sweet messages or acrid warnings depending on the day, the season, the memory. In these early pages we glean a vague composite of the novel's central crime: Wade, Jenny, and their two daughters on a mountain; blood sticky on the seat of a pickup truck; a frantic drive down from the top. As the novel unfolds the composite grows, filling in the years leading up to that day and the years trailing after. It's told through the ...
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