Title: Death by the River
Author(s): Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
Release Date: October 2nd, 2018
Genre: Horror, Young Adult
A high school “American Psycho.”
SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET.
SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.
Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.
And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.
The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.
He is also a psychopath.
A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.
As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux.
And that someone will pay with their life.
Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight.Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.
Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.
He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.
Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.
One of his favorite quotes is:
“It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
This book is nothing short of intense. I cannot stress the fact that if you choose to read this, you need to know there are scenes involving rape and violence. At first, I wondered if this was truly a YA novel due to the scenes, language, slut/kink shaming, and the content. I am used to reading content like this in adult novels, but not YA. I understand times are changing in YA but not to this extent. I am not knocking the book for this, merely stating my opinion. If these aspects were not in this novel, it would not be as intense and driving as it was for me.
Leslie and her sister Dawn are polar opposites. Leslie is dating a non-popular guy, living in a healthy relationship, and has her priorities straight and standards high. Her sister, on the other hand, is basically trapped in a toxic relationship with Beau, the high school quarterback who comes from the Devereaux family that owns the majority of the town.
Beau is constantly antagonizing Leslie behind her sister’s back, taunting her and making aggressive moves toward her that are nothing short of assault. Since his family practically runs the town, the principal and various students turn a blind eye to rumors surrounding him. He smiles like an angel on the outside when his inner core is dark and on the verge of exploding, destroying everything and everyone around him.
Watching Beaus dissension into rage, madness, and ruthless behavior sent shivers down my spine. He is an extremely frightening character. He has a history of abusing his mother, terrorizing animals, and takes unsuspecting girls into his “sanctuary” in the Abbey where his actions know no bounds. That is, until his secrets begin to rise from their graves and oh, what tales do they have to tell. Then the destruction of Beau Deveraux takes hold and his ghosts are ready to reek their revenge.
I need to give props for the authors with delving deep into the town’s history and the background of the character’s families. It gave me an even deeper understanding as to where Beau’s inner demons derived from. From generation to generation, the mental illness and past abuse running in the veins of the family finally came to a head and the seed is planted within him. It is not an excuse, but at least you know the source of the issues.
I felt for Leslie and her worry for her sister. I grew angry with Dawn over her insistence of believing there was good in Beau despite the signs of the opposite. I cried over Beau’s victims and crimes. This whole story, quite frankly, there were various times where I needed to set the book down and brew a heavy batch of chamomile and peppermint tea to bring me down from the edge.
This book is not for the faint of heart, that is for sure. If you are easily triggered, do not read this book. If you are looking for a Halloween read that will have you looking over your shoulder then try it out.
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