What Happened to Clara?


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From Kirkus Reviews:

Halleson (The Origin of Fear, 2015, etc.) makes picturesque Wisconsin farmland the backdrop of disturbing crimes in this novel.

As Silje Reiersen grows from adolescence to young adulthood in the 1950s, she shares the same concerns as most of the girls in her rural Wisconsin area: her grades, her shifting friendships with female classmates, and her growing interest in boys.

Silje chafes at the restrictions in her life, such as the loneliness of existence on her farm and her Norwegian-American family’s taboos against showing emotion. She escapes into books, imagining the day that she can flee for good into the world outside of the farm. Her imagination also causes moments of paralyzing fear, such as when her mind runs wild with terrible possibilities on a night when her parents are late coming home from a trip.

But she has reason for her trepidation to be concrete. Children and teens keep disappearing from all over Wisconsin. Unbeknownst to their parents, or to the authorities, they are being kidnapped by multiple individuals who take advantage of their victims’ isolation and funnel the captives to larger child-trafficking rings in Chicago. As Silje ages, the abductions start hitting closer and closer to home, until it seems like anyone, even Silje, could be next.

Halleson clearly has a strong understanding of the Norwegian-Americans who populate her novel, and their depictions seem extremely authentic. She’s equally skilled at representing the criminal mind, and the passages from the perspective of a kidnapper are chilling….

 
Buy this book here.

 

 

 

About R. Z. Halleson

Go to http://bit.ly/HallesonBio
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