The Arsonist When the first house burns down in the middle of the night in the sleepy New Hampshire hamlet of Pomeroy, it seems like an unfortunate… The Arsonist When the first house burns down in the middle of the night in the sleepy New Hampshire hamlet of Pomeroy, it seems like an unfortunate… 2014-06-24 Mystery and Thriller Knopf
Book Review

The Arsonist (2014)

THE ARSONIST Sue Miller
THE ARSONIST Sue Miller
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Jun 24, 2014; Writer: Sue Miller; Genre: Mystery and Thriller; Publisher: Knopf

When the first house burns down in the middle of the night in the sleepy New Hampshire hamlet of Pomeroy, it seems like an unfortunate accident. When two more go up in flames within the week, it's clear where The Arsonist gets its title. Miller (The Senator's Wife) is expert at detailing the charms and vagaries of small-town life: the dynamic between fussy, fancy ''summer people'' and saltier year-round residents; the fact that nobody's business goes unnoted. But her main focus is Frankie, a foreign-aid worker who returns to her childhood summer home from Nairobi the same night the fires start. Frankie's ambivalence about her life path, her struggle with her aging parents, and her romance with the town's newsman are evocatively told. But her inner world, like the true identity of the arsonist, remains just out of reach. B+

Originally posted Jun 18, 2014 Published in issue #1317 Jun 27, 2014 Order article reprints
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