NOMINATED FOR THE 2021 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL
A body burns in the desert… Does the boy who found it know more than it seems?
Sal Prentiss, orphaned and burdened with a terrible secret, just wants a place to belong. Sal lives with his uncles on a desolate ranch in the hills, and finds himself at the centre of a brutal murder mystery when he discovers the body of his maths teacher, charred almost beyond recognition, half a mile from his uncles' compound.
In the seven months he worked at Lovelock's middle school, the quiet and seemingly unremarkable Adam Merkel had formed a bond with Sal and was one of the few people to look out for the boy.
Nora Wheaton, the school's social studies teacher, sensed a kindred spirit in Adam — another soul bound to Lovelock by guilt and duty. After his death, she delves into his past for clues to who killed him. For Sal's grief seems shaded with fear, and Nora suspects he knows more than he's telling about his teacher's death.
'Stunning… an ideal recommendation for fans of Kate Atkinson and Jodi Picoult' - Booklist (starred review)
'Powerful and poignant' - People
'Bright, flawless writing, wonderful characters, and a sense of pacing that ratchets up the tension… I loved this book. I bet you will too' - Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Child Finder and The Butterfly Girl
'[The Distant Dead] is at heart about the timelessness of human curiosity, the eternal possibility of forgiveness, and the everyday miracle of survival. Electrifying, ambitious, and crushingly beautiful' - Kirkus (starred review)
'With her usual blend of inventive storytelling and gorgeous prose, Heather Young delivers big themes and a poignant coming of age story in this complex, page-turning mystery/thriller. The Distant Dead is not to be missed' - James McLaughlin, author of Bearskin