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The Bright Lands by John Fram

(1 customer review)



Book Summary

A Best Book of 2020 from Library Journal, CrimeReads, and BookPage

“Marks the debut of an already accomplished novelist.” —John Banville

The town of Bentley holds two things dear: its football, and its secrets. But when star quarterback Dylan Whitley goes missing, an unremitting fear grips this remote corner of Texas.

Joel Whitley was shamed out of conservative Bentley ten years ago, and while he’s finally made a life for himself as a gay man in New York, his younger brother’s disappearance soon brings him back to a place he thought he’d escaped for good. Meanwhile, Sheriff’s Deputy Starsha Clark stayed in Bentley; Joel’s return brings back painful memories—not to mention questions—about her own missing brother. And in the high school hallways, Dylan’s friends begin to suspect that their classmates know far more than they’re telling the police. Together, these unlikely allies will stir up secrets their town has long tried to ignore, drawing the attention of dangerous men who will stop at nothing to see that their crimes stay buried.

But no one is quite prepared to face the darkness that’s begun to haunt their nightmares, whispering about a place long thought to be nothing but an urban legend: an empty night, a flicker of light on the horizon—The Bright Lands.

Shocking, twisty and relentlessly suspenseful, John Fram’s debut is a heart-pounding story about old secrets, modern anxieties and the price young men pay for glory.


Condition: New

Hardcover, Published July 7, 2020 by Hanover Square Press

ISBN: 9781335836625

1 review for The Bright Lands by John Fram

  1. Chandra

    Police corruption, small town secrets, peer pressure, homophobia, racism and misogyny – these are a few topics you can expect to be brought up in this wonderful debut novel by Fram. This suspenseful thriller with light horror undertones is one to put on your TBR. Don’t let the page count dissuade you – each page is necessary to tell this enthralling tale set in a small town in Texas.

    This book hooked me right from the beginning, then tapered off while building its suspense and then explodes at the end. There’s quite a cast of characters and I enjoyed being in the minds of all of them. Well, maybe enjoyed isn’t the right word for some of these minds because I found myself flinching at quite a few scenes. For the majority of the read, I was wondering why this was even considered horror at all – we get a hint in certain parts but it doesn’t really show its horror face until a certain part. Personally, I would’ve liked to have seen more of this throughout the read rather than placed mainly just in one spot. HOWEVER, take that with a grain of salt because the horror in this novel isn’t just contained within that part of the storyline.

    With loads of mystery and an ending you won’t be expecting, I’m duly impressed that this is a debut novel. Fram is an author to watch out for – I highly recommend adding this to your reading list. I’ll certainly be looking for his next release.
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