In this novel, Wright takes two of the main characters from Blue Falling back to their adolescence. I pity the fool who has to write a synopsis for the back cover of this book without giving too much away. I was grabbed and drawn in to the story from the very first sentence: "I did what I did, and that's on me." From that moment on, with the reader wondering, "But, what did you do, Jim??" the facts are revealed in such a tantalizing manner as Wright spins a story that sustains a delightfully unbearable level of tension. There were times when I could hardly resist jumping up and down, waving my arms around in the air like a frantic monkey, and yelling at the narrator because he knew something and why didn't I know it too?!
Whereas Blue Falling can be simply described as a mystery, What Dies in Summer takes that element of mystery and adds more suspense to become what could be called a thriller. Even better, the book is given additional depth as it is written from the perspective of a boy who teeters on the brink between youth and adulthood. I came to appreciate Jim's astute (and sometimes surprisingly mature) observation of details that might only be noticed by a child.
Each character in this novel is brilliantly crafted and realistic, whether minor or not. Wright's masterful writing propels the reader through the novel with lightning speed, but does not sacrifice depth or meaning. It is without reservation that I label this book as a must-read. (I know. I'm cruel. But surely you will get a chance to read it some day). This is one of the best books I have read in the past year.