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Reef Road

Reef Road, January 2023
by Deborah Goodrich Royce

Post Hill Press
272 pages
ISBN: 1637584962
EAN: 9781637584965
Kindle: B0BLTDLW93
Hardcover / e-Book / audiobook
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"Is revenge worth its cost?"

Fresh Fiction Review

Reef Road
Deborah Goodrich Royce

Reviewed by Evie Harris
Posted February 21, 2023

Thriller Psychological

Twelve-year-old Noelle Grace Huber was brutally murdered in Pennsylvania in 1948.  On a quiet beach in Florida in 2020, two boys find a hand.  Readers may wonder what one has to do with the other.  As it turns out, there is a powerful and shocking connection.

The story is told by two distinct voices. One is a single, middle-aged writer who lives with her dog. If she knows anything, it is how to conduct an investigation.  She might be called an expert in the field.  The other is a married woman with two beautiful children.  While her marriage is not perfect, she manages. Here, too, we ask how these two women who seemingly have nothing in common are connected.

In good time, all questions are answered in REEF ROAD, an intriguing and unique psychological thriller by Deborah Goodrich Royce. Precisely and perfectly crafted, we follow along as the deeply flawed protagonists' lives intertwine.  There has to be a reason for this, doesn't there?  Tragedy casts a shadow over the narrative.  This story is a reminder that many of us are a product of our past.  It is what we do with that knowledge that can determine the future.  During the pandemic in an idyllic setting, one woman's mistakes and one woman's quest for revenge come together in this haunting and suspenseful tale. I found REEF ROAD  to be a memorable and captivating story.  Highly recommended.


Learn more about Reef Road


When a severed hand washes ashore in the wealthy enclave of Palm Beach, Florida, the lives of two women—a lonely writer obsessed with the unsolved murder of her mother’s best friend and a panicked wife whose husband has disappeared with their children—collide as the world shutters in the pandemic lockdown of 2020.

“Reef Road is magnificent. It feels utterly real, a novel of deeply personal context. It swerves between truth and lies—the lies that lead to an even deeper—and more devastating—truth. Though pure fiction, it reads as compellingly as a mixture of memoir and exposé. It has left me shaken to the core. Deborah Goodrich Royce writes with brilliant understanding of the mystery and occasional grace of trauma.” —Luanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author

A young woman’s life seems perfect until her family goes missing. A writer lives alone with her dog and collects arcane murder statistics. What each of them stands to lose as they sneak around the do-not-enter tape blocking Reef Road beach is exposed by the steady tightening of the cincture encircling them.

In a nod to the true crime that inspired it, Deborah Goodrich Royce’s Reef Road probes unhealed generational scars in a wrenching and original work of fiction. It is both stunning and sexy and, like a bystander surprised by a curtain left open, you won’t be able to look away.

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