Christopher J. Yates’s cult hit Black Chalk introduced that rare writerly talent: a literary writer who could write a plot with the intricacy of a brilliant mental puzzle, and with characters so absorbing that readers are immediately gripped. Yates’s new book does not disappoint. Grist Mill Road is a dark, twisted, and expertly plotted Rashomon-style tale. The year is 1982; the setting, an Edenic hamlet some ninety miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends—Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah—are bound together by a terrible and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty-six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves never could have predicted, the three meet again—with even more devastating results.
Tonight, Joey Justice and Misty Wilhite have turned up in the rotation, along with up-and-comers Brandon King and Patty Ferguson. As Joey and Misty arrive, Joey goes inside, and Misty returns to the car for a forgotten item. While she’s at the car, the club is taken over by a large force of armed men, and the exits are sealed.
Inside, the true owner of the club is revealed to be Justice Security’s mortal enemy, the Mexican drug cartel leader Esteban Fernandez, who, by telephone, threatens to kill the club patrons unless Joey gives himself up and brings Misty inside.
Trapped inside the club with two hundred innocent people during a deadly cat-and-mouse game, Joey and his four grunts do their best to keep everyone safe and not get caught. But, with time running out, can he save everyone?
It was only ever meant to be a game played by six best friends in their first year at Oxford University; a game of consequences, silly forfeits, and childish dares. But then the game changed: The stakes grew higher and the dares more personal and more humiliating, finally evolving into a vicious struggle with unpredictable and tragic results. Now, fourteen years later, the remaining players must meet again for the final round. Who knows better than your best friends what would break you? A gripping psychological thriller partly inspired by the author's own time at Oxford University, Black Chalk is perfect for fans of the high tension and expert pacing of The Secret History and The Bellwether Revivals. Christopher J. Yates' background in puzzle writing and setting can clearly be seen in the plotting of this clever, tricky book that will keep you guessing to the very end.