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River Road: A Novel

River Road: A Novel

Written by Carol Goodman

Narrated by Madeleine Maby


River Road: A Novel

Written by Carol Goodman

Narrated by Madeleine Maby

ratings:
4/5 (21 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Released:
Jan 19, 2016
ISBN:
9781442395923
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

From the award-winning author of The Lake of Dead Languages comes a chilling new psychological thriller about a professor accused of killing her favorite student in a hit-and-run accident.

Nan Lewis-a creative writing professor at a state university in upstate New York-is driving home from a faculty holiday party after finding out she's been denied tenure. On her way, she hits a deer, but when she gets out of her car to look for it, the deer is nowhere to be found. Eager to get home and out of the oncoming snowstorm, Nan is forced to leave her car at the bottom of her snowy driveway to wait out the longest night of the year-and the lowest point of her life…

The next morning, Nan is woken up by a police officer at her door with terrible news-one of her students, Leia Dawson, was killed in a hit-and-run on River Road the night before. And because of the damage to her car, Nan is a suspect. In the days following the accident, Nan finds herself shunned by the same community that rallied around her when her own daughter was killed in an eerily similar accident six years prior. When Nan begins finding disturbing tokens that recall the death of Nan's own daughter, Nan suspects that the two accidents are connected.

As she begins to dig further, she discovers that everyone around her, including Leia, is hiding secrets. But can she uncover them, clear her name, and figure out who really killed Leia before her reputation is destroyed for good?
Released:
Jan 19, 2016
ISBN:
9781442395923
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

Carol Goodman is the critically acclaimed author of fourteen novels, including The Lake of Dead Languages and The Seduction of Water, which won the 2003 Hammett Prize. Her books have been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family, and teaches writing and literature at the New School and SUNY New Paltz.


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What people think about River Road

4.0
21 ratings / 8 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Nan Lewis was driving home from a faculty/student Christmas party when she took a turn too fast and hit something. She thought it was a deer. But the next day, the dead body of one of her students, Leia Dawson was found on the roadside. A dented bumper and blood on her car made Nan the prime suspect.Seven years earlier, Nan's daughter, Emmy, was also the subject of a hit and run at that same curve. It caused a rift in Nan's marriage. It caused her to begin drinking to dull the pain. It caused writer's block, and her second novel never got written.In the small college town north of Poughkeepsie, Nan is vilified, even when it was proved that it was a deer that Nan hit. Now there is a murderer on the loose.River Road by Carol Goodman has as many twists and turns as a river country road. She's created some great characters. There's mystery, suspense, romance. And the bleak blizzard prone winter with hits frozen winter, snow storms and below freezing temperatures just adds to aura of the town. Readers will be satisfied with the ending and there's enough mystery to satisfy any reader. This is the first Carol Goodman book I read, but I'll definitely read more.
  • (5/5)
    This was a very good book! I really enjoyed reading about the struggle of a woman experiencing loss and how she overcomes her struggles. I also enjoyed the plot twist when it is revealed who ran over Leia. I will definitely be checking out more books by this author.

    I received this book as part of GoodReads First Reads Giveaway!
  • (5/5)
    On a cold winter's night, you're driving home from a party, upset and with a few glasses of wine in you. All of a sudden, out of nowhere comes a deer! You can't avoid it, you hit it. You get out of the car, to look at the damage to your car and the deer.. But no deer. What happened to the deer? Was it a deer? Must have run off...So begins the story of River Road by Carol Goodman and Nan, a creative writing teacher at the state college, a borderline alcoholic, and a grieving mother who lost her 4 year old daughter in a hit and run accident years ago.Nan just learned at the faculty Christmas party that her tenure was denied and drives home upset and hurt. When she rounds the corner on River Road, the same spot her daughter was killed, a deer comes out of nowhere and she hits it. Or does she?!The morning after she's waken by a policeman at her door, questioning her about the damage to her car. It just so happens that one of her students was killed in a hit and run last night, in the same spot Nan "claims" she hit the deer... What really happened on River Road that night? Nan isn't quite sure herself, as she begins to try and piece things together. Slowly it is revealed that everyone is harboring secrets that could make them a suspect, but there is ultimately only one guilty of murder... I LOVED this book! It just grabbed me from the start and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time reading. In fact, I read it in just a few days because I couldn't put it down. The writing was wonderful and the plot of the story was so well thought out from start to finish. The characters were well written too. A genuinely great read, with lots of suspense and twists & turns that will have you guessing in all the wrong places! Definitely a 5 star read! Though the books are different, the beginning of River Road reminded me of The Girl on The Train, which I also thoroughly enjoyed. So, if you're a Mystery/Suspense reader River Road should be on your TBR list! And today you can find it in your local bookstore, because today is its' release date!
  • (5/5)
    Very good mystery. Goodman's books have such a gothic feel to them. Wish she wrote more.
  • (4/5)
    Professor Nan Lewis is an English professor at a local college who is still coping with the death of her small daughter and the end of her marriage by drinking too much. When she learns at an office party that she has been denied tenure, she leaves the party upset. Driving home she hits a deer and damages her car. Not being able to find the injured animal and with the car still drivable, she goes home carefully in the snowstorm where she drinks some more and passes out. When she wakes up she finds she is being investigated for the death of one of her college students who was hit on the road she drove on the night before. This novel is filled with twists and turns as Nan struggles to find out who hit and killed the student Leia and why she is also in danger. This was a wonderful suspense novel that is not solved until the very end.
  • (4/5)
    I usually really, really enjoy Goodman's style. This one did not quite live up to my expectations. Something was just off or way too predictable with this one for me. I can't quite put my finger on what it is that isn't setting right other than that.
  • (3/5)
    [River Road] by Carol Goodman3 StarsFrom The Book:Nan Lewis—a creative writing professor at a university in upstate New York—is driving home from a faculty holiday party when she hits a deer. Yet when she gets out of her car to look for it, the deer is gone. Eager to get home before the oncoming snowstorm, Nan is forced to leave her car at the bottom of her snowy driveway to wait out the longest night of the year…The next morning, Nan is woken up by a police officer at her door with terrible news—one of her students, Leia Dawson, was killed in a hit-and-run on River Road the night before, and because of the damage to her car, Nan is a suspect. In the days following the accident, Nan finds herself shunned by the same community that rallied around her when her own daughter was killed in an eerily similar accident six years prior. When Nan begins finding disturbing tokens that recall the her daughter’s death, Nan suspects that the two accidents are connected.As she digs further, she discovers that everyone around her, including Leia, has been hiding secrets. But can she uncover them, clear her name, and figure out who really killed Leia before her life is destroyed for ever?My Views:It was a well told story but if like me, you like to be fed information so that you can work out who the killer is, you will be disappointed here. This author has always had a way of making the "bad guy" one you would least expect but not this time. You will know exactly... without a doubt by page 50. It seemed that Nan was the only person that didn't know. So...3 stars for a good story line but not much suspense.
  • (3/5)
    Carol Goodman’s River Road gets off to a quick start when Nan Lewis, who teaches creative writing at a small college in upstate New York, crashes into a deer on her way home from the end-of-semester party at which she has just learned that tenure is being denied her. By the time Nan realizes what has just happened, the deer, having scrambled off into the nearby trees, is nowhere to be seen. Early the next morning when a police sergeant bangs on her front door to tell her that the body of one of her students, victim of a hit and run driver, has been found on River Road, Nan learns that her she has some serious explaining to do.Because of the obvious damage to her car and where police found it, Nan is the obvious suspect in the young woman’s death. The woman’s body was found in almost the exact spot where, just a few years earlier, a driver coming around the same blind curve on River Road struck and killed Nan’s little girl. Now many of the same people who had helped her deal with the loss of her only child then are accusing her of letting one of her students die all alone in a ditch by the side of the road. Something in Nan died alongside her daughter. Her husband’s reaction to their little girl’s death had been to walk away from the marriage that produced the child. Nan herself simply turned to alcohol to deaden her own grief, and now she is known as a woman with a “drinking problem,” a problem bad enough to leave her unsure about what she saw on River Road the night she hit the unlucky deer. She knows she did not strike Leia Dawson – but she cannot make enough sense of her dreamlike memories of the previous evening to prove her innocence to those who question her responsibility for the woman’s death. Nan Lewis is the most unreliable of narrators, and author Carol Goodman puts that characteristic to good use throughout River Road.Nan, having already lost the only child she ever expects to have, now has no job and no friends. With nothing left to lose, she begins to ask questions of her own – and the ugliness of what she learns stuns her. The more she learns about her colleagues and students, and the secrets they are hiding, Nan wonders how she could have ever been so blind. Now, if she can only manage to keep herself alive long enough to do it, she is determined to identify the real killer and salvage what little of reputation she has left. River Road is the story of a woman who refuses to forgive herself for the few seconds of inattention that ended in her daughter’s death - and a story about how quickly a community can turn on one of its own. But much like The Girl on the Train, the novel relies so much on coincidence, an almost stereotypical villain, and the remarkable speed at which its heroine recovers from serious physical abuse that it loses a bit of its potential impact. All that said, readers willing to suspend their disbelief to the right level should find this one fun.