Delia Owens’s debut novel is rather unusually in thrall to the bleakness of wetlands. In its opening scene, an autumn morning in 1969, a dead man is about to be swallowed up by muddy waters outside the small town of Barkley Cove, North Carolina. “A swamp knows all about death,” writes Owens, “and doesn’t necessarily define it as tragedy, certainly not a sin.”
The next scene takes us...
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