I bought this book at the Tattered Cover bookstore, during my visit to Denver, which is very fitting as its author worked there for w while. While I was there, I tried to buy books by local authors and clearly, I succeeded.
It is partially a book about a bookstore, which is what caught my eye, but when I started reading I realized that it is also a decent crime story. Lydia Smith works in the Bright Ideas bookstore, she is a quiet person and tries not to attract attention. One evening though one of the frequent visitors, Joey, in the store hangs himself on its upper floor and Lydia is the one to find him. It would be a shocking experience on its own, but Lydia also finds a childhood picture of herself in Joey’s pocket.
This opens again all sorts of doors that Lydia would prefer to keep closed. She does have a secret in her past and she desperately tries to run away from it. But the pull of a mystery is too strong. Joey also leaves her all his things, including a bunch of cut up books that hold the message Lydia needs to understand.
The book is well written, with decently developed characters and the lovely setting of a good bookstore. I wanted to keep coming back to it, despite the content being more and more disturbing. Lydia definitely finds out more than she asked for.
All in all a lovely surprise and a good light read about people obsessed with books in various different ways. The book has also been published in the UK in 2017 and was translated to several languages in 2018, so if you’ll have a chance and will feel like something lighter to read I do recommend it.