Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, Matthew Sullivan

I thought this was quite a find. The author, Matthew Sullivan (no relation to my character, also a novelist, with the same name in The Adulteries of Rachel), has an eye and appreciation for the ways in which human weakness and vulnerability can draw our hearts.

I felt for all of his characters deeply, and I thought the story was told brilliantly. Particularly striking was his account of a murder from the perspective of a child: how unfamiliar things might sound like familiar things out of context. He has a real sense of how trauma can impact and stay with people - children and adults - for years and years, something that's often missing from thriller & cozy murder mysteries.

Additionally, Sullivan's writing is fun: he uses surprising verbs and adjectives, or uses them in surprising ways. Many sentences have this delightful, lively quality. I'll be looking for more of Sullivan's work.