Grist Mill Road

Grist Mill Road

Twenty-six years ago Hannah had her eye shot out. Now she wants justice. But is she blind to the truth?Christopher J. Yates’s cult hit Black Chalk introduced that rare writerly talent: a literary writer who could write a plot with the intricacy of a brilliant mental puzzle, and with characters so absorbing that readers are immediately gripped. Yates’s new book does not dis...

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Title:Grist Mill Road
Author:Christopher J. Yates
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Grist Mill Road Reviews

  • Selena

    I received a free advanced copy of Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates for my honest review.

    An extremely intense and mesmerizing thriller that pulls you in on it's very first page. This book is a story of three teenagers who are all involved in a crime and how each of them viewed the crime, in their own mind, what they saw or what they think they saw and what really happened. The story is told from their past and their future and how this crime changed who they are now and what their actions

    I received a free advanced copy of Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates for my honest review.

    An extremely intense and mesmerizing thriller that pulls you in on it's very first page. This book is a story of three teenagers who are all involved in a crime and how each of them viewed the crime, in their own mind, what they saw or what they think they saw and what really happened. The story is told from their past and their future and how this crime changed who they are now and what their actions from their past has impacted their now future. Each of these characters has to face what they did and and what they are hiding from that terrible crime they were all a part of. An amazingly written novel with such detail and precision. You will find yourself neck deep in emotion with this novel. Prepare yourself for a very intense read.

  • karen

    the opening scene in this book is beyond rough: thirteen-year-old hannah is tied to a tree and shot with a bb gun by an older boy named matthew - shot repeatedly and in great detail - the 49th turning her eye into a

    this transpires while patch, the youngest of the three, watches in silence. when hannah’s screams stop abruptly after the ruination of her eye, they poke a

    the opening scene in this book is beyond rough: thirteen-year-old hannah is tied to a tree and shot with a bb gun by an older boy named matthew - shot repeatedly and in great detail - the 49th turning her eye into a

    this transpires while patch, the youngest of the three, watches in silence. when hannah’s screams stop abruptly after the ruination of her eye, they poke at her a bit, conclude that she's dead, and head for home.

    in general, i’m pretty inured to violence in books. i have a taste for grit lit and modern westerns, so there’s not much that can make me wince. this made me wince. it even made me vocalize - i let out an audible “duuuuude.”

    because how is a reader supposed to get over that scene and want to reconnect with these characters when the book picks up 26 years later, and surprise - hannah's alive with a prosthetic eye and

    to patch? how does a writer get past that scene without just delivering a dark bleak hopeless grave of a book?

    i’m not saying it’s happy trails through and through, but it’s an extraordinarily well-paced suspense novel, where the reader is constantly amassing information that causes their sympathies to shift and to second-guess everything as yates constructs a bridge between the past and the present. the whole book is secrets on top of secrets and while i wouldn’t go so far as to say that the actions of the opening scene become

    by the revelations, the circumstances surrounding it and the headspaces of the participants are at least clarified.

    why does matthew do it? why doesn’t patch do anything to stop him? how the hell does hannah end up marrying patch? how does this episode affect all of them into their adult lives? what does matthew want now, showing up so unexpectedly into their lives?

    all three characters contribute some of the pieces that make up the story, each in a different format: a letter from the one who perpetrated the crime, the journal of the one who watched, and…this book.

    is, essentially, hannah’s book - the victim of a horrific crime growing up to become a crime reporter for a new york tabloid and writing a book - this book - about her childhood experience named for the street she grew up on. patch and matthew’s sections have been gathered by hannah to finally tell the complete story of what went down on that mountain, a story each of them thought they knew but none of them had the full picture until matthew came back into their lives, jeopardizing the rickety, secret-riddled structure of their marriage.

    it's a smart story and a smart method of delivery. we get three perspectives each relying on childhood memories of an event in which emotions were high, shock was clouding perception, and whose causes and effects may be murky with misunderstandings resulting from a child’s inexperience. it’s like an even darker version of

    , in which three different characters live with the fallout, none more haunted than patch, whose paranoia and rage in the present-day scenes are spectacularly handled.

    there's very good tension, with a long slow simmer, and it's even better than yates' debut

    . the opening scene is definitely the most squirm-inducing; if you can get through that one, you should be all right.

    bonus -

    food porn. if you still have an appetite.

    *****************************************

    oh my goodness, my newest

    is for sure the best one yet!

    not only for the book, although i have been dying to read it but had not yet bought it, so there's a bit of extra satisfaction in being rewarded for my newfound restraint, but also the little ridealongs are so pretty and well-designed - these are my favorite ones yet and i don't even care that i sound like a commercial. YOU sound like a commercial, so there. but look at the pretty:

    is so elegant, and i want to live in that book room (that many would call a "library" but whatever, i'm sleepy)

    and the pencils are genius

    because you sharpen them on this little matchbook-striker thingie:

    and how cool is that?

    it takes so little to bring me genuinely-felt pleasure and delight.

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader & Traveling Sister

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐.75

    Grist Mill Road engaged me from the start. I found it genre-bending at first and didn’t quite know what it was. I’ve settled on thinking it was descriptive literary fiction with a mystery. I had such high hopes based on how it started. The three people involved in this incident each had a voice, and we first heard from them in the 1980s when the event happened, and then again, 20 years later, when their lives intersected again. In ma

    ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.75

    Grist Mill Road engaged me from the start. I found it genre-bending at first and didn’t quite know what it was. I’ve settled on thinking it was descriptive literary fiction with a mystery. I had such high hopes based on how it started. The three people involved in this incident each had a voice, and we first heard from them in the 1980s when the event happened, and then again, 20 years later, when their lives intersected again. In many ways, this was masterfully drawn.

    And then...I enjoyed the descriptive writing at first, but I found myself bogged down in the details. While I do enjoy cooking, I learned much more than I had planned about food blogging, and then later on, I learned all about the cement business. I’m not sure where that much detail was supposed to lead us? Ultimately, I found the ending a little confusing, too.

    This book most definitely had its strengths and some challenges, too, and in the end, the strengths were more memorable for me.

    This was another enjoyable Traveling Sister read. 💕 Please check out Brenda and Norma’s blog:

    Thank you to Goodreads’ First Reads, Picador, and Christopher Yates for the complimentary copy.

  • Paromjit

    Christopher Yates writes a intelligent and multilayered dark literary thriller. It begins in 1982 with three teenagers go out on a hot summer day in the Swangum Mountains where a nightmare of a violent scenario develops that leaves the reader reeling in horror. Matthew and Patrick (Patch) are with Hannah, this incident is to bond the three together with deep ramifications that shape them and their future. One is left blind in one eye and another ends up in prison. They are in their forties in Ne

    Christopher Yates writes a intelligent and multilayered dark literary thriller. It begins in 1982 with three teenagers go out on a hot summer day in the Swangum Mountains where a nightmare of a violent scenario develops that leaves the reader reeling in horror. Matthew and Patrick (Patch) are with Hannah, this incident is to bond the three together with deep ramifications that shape them and their future. One is left blind in one eye and another ends up in prison. They are in their forties in New York when their paths are to cross again. Patch is married to Hannah and has a cooking blog. Will their marriage be able to survive the revelations that come to surface? The narrative is delivered primarily from Patrick's perspective, and goes back and forth in time. The reader who thinks that it is blatantly obvious what occurred in that incident comes to slowly understand that all is not as it seems, in fact they are symbolically blind.

    With his deft sleights of hand, Yates takes us on a journey with revelations of small town living and his marvellously complex characters. He initially paints a picture, only to peel it back, layer by layer to reveal a different picture underneath it. His prose is beautifully written, compelling and suspenseful. His depth of detail is staggering such as when presenting Patch's recipes and ingredients and the cement factory. The author's prime talent is his characterisation, it is his skill in this area, his psychological depth and insights that have you hooked into the story. Matthew's abusive childhood tore me apart, the suffering that marred his life. This novel is about sexual desire, longings, lies, secrets, resentments, violence and tragedy. The young lives laid to waste, what is done and what is not done A wonderful and enthralling read.

  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    When my

    five starred this sucker I knew it would probably be one I wouldn't take four weeks to read. It only took me one!

    Now I gotta admit. When I first started reading it I thought Kelly had bumped her head on one of Mitchell's tusks.

    It was boring as heck!

    It starts off with a first chapter of super evil stuff and then turns into a looooonnng description of food blogging and a damn cement company's history.

    And I LIKE the food blogging thing! That's bad when I was bored at something

    When my

    five starred this sucker I knew it would probably be one I wouldn't take four weeks to read. It only took me one!

    Now I gotta admit. When I first started reading it I thought Kelly had bumped her head on one of Mitchell's tusks.

    It was boring as heck!

    It starts off with a first chapter of super evil stuff and then turns into a looooonnng description of food blogging and a damn cement company's history.

    And I LIKE the food blogging thing! That's bad when I was bored at something like that.

    Kelly kept telling me that it got much better. I totally mumbled under my breath that she had lost her dang mind and turned nice when I wasn't looking.

    Then suddenly, it happened. It all came together and I don't think I'll forget this book in a week like I do most of the others I read. (Old lady brains)

    In between us talking about our freezing to death or my cat eating me. (She chews my feet!) We did decide that this is similar to

    ...in the fact that the super boring does turn around and knock your socks off. But not around my feet eating cat. She'll eat your toes.

    Yes, I KNOW I rambled on and on about nothing for this review. But this is one of those that you want to go into it not knowing much of anything.

  • Zoeytron

    A story of how scars suffered in childhood never really go away.  It may be a physical scar, plainly visible for a lifetime.  Emotional and psychological scarring can be harder to detect, hidden like a dangerous secret.  Lying in wait, temporarily dormant.  Those secrets are laid bare here, impacting lives that have already suffered losses.  This one is deliciously dark, and disturbing in its ramifications.  

  • Mackey St

    The opening scene in Grist Mill Road is the stuff of which nightmares are formed. Three young teens in a brutal, savage act that goes beyond all measure of comprehension. One will lose an eye and live with those nightmares forever. One will live with the guilt of doing, saying nothing and one will go to jail for the crime. Their lives are indelibly linked by the crime and by the lies that they told to themselves and others that day.

    Grist Mill Road is split into two timelines: the early 80's sur

    The opening scene in Grist Mill Road is the stuff of which nightmares are formed. Three young teens in a brutal, savage act that goes beyond all measure of comprehension. One will lose an eye and live with those nightmares forever. One will live with the guilt of doing, saying nothing and one will go to jail for the crime. Their lives are indelibly linked by the crime and by the lies that they told to themselves and others that day.

    Grist Mill Road is split into two timelines: the early 80's surrounding the summer of the crime and 2008, during which time the three are now in their late 40's and their lives converge once again. The tale is told primarily from Patrick's perspective but later the voices of Hannah and Matthew are added.

    Yates has a marvelous gift for detail. I could visualize the town, the splendor of the mountains, the young boys' adventures in those mountains and the angst they felt while coming of age. I physically felt the anguish that Matthew felt when he was being beaten by his father and the love he ultimately found later. However, this also became a drawback. Every single aspect in the was given that same attention to detail. Patrick had a food blog; I now know how to prepare dozens of foods that I never will prepare. I know more about rock formations than I ever learned in geology. I'm grateful for the knowledge but the amount of minutiae bogged down an otherwise interesting suspense novel. Editing would greatly enhance this novel.

    In the end, however, I felt deflated. There was no justice just a feeling of a tragic waste of life. Yates reached me as a writer; I'm still thinking about Matthew, but this isn't a book I would endorse and I doubt I will read this author's work in the future.

    I was furnished an advanced copy for review by Netgalley and Picador Books/ Macmillan-Picador Publishing.

  • Kaceey - Traveling Sister

    What should have been a fun outing for three young teens, quickly turns tragic. Leaving all three with lifelong scars that each need to deal with in their own way. Years later, their paths will cross one more time. Will tragedy strike twice or will they all find the truth and closure they so desperately need.

    This book started off very strong. Great story...great characters, with the potential to be an amazing read. Unfortunately, somewhere around the halfway mark it just, well…I’m not sure w

    What should have been a fun outing for three young teens, quickly turns tragic. Leaving all three with lifelong scars that each need to deal with in their own way. Years later, their paths will cross one more time. Will tragedy strike twice or will they all find the truth and closure they so desperately need.

    This book started off very strong. Great story...great characters, with the potential to be an amazing read. Unfortunately, somewhere around the halfway mark it just, well…I’m not sure what happened. The storyline slowed right down and then veered off in directions that, at the time, didn’t feel relevant.

    When I started this book I was so excited! Couldn’t stop thinking about it every time I had to step away. If only that excitement could have lasted throughout.

    It is written in several POVs and timelines that become difficult to follow. As all the storylines and characters converged at the end, for what should have been a spectacular finale instead I was left with a fizzle. Worse yet, so many unanswered questions.

    A traveling sister read with Brenda and Jennifer!:)

    Thank you to NetGalley, Macmillan-Picador and Christopher J. Yates for an ARC to review in exchange for an honest review.

    For this review and all our Traveling Sister reviews please visit Brenda and Norma’s fabulous book blog:

  • Emily May

    I read this entire book but, right from start until finish,

    .

    Perhaps this kind of thriller does not mix well with literary fiction for me. There were many things about

    that reminded me of the tone and style of

    (which I get will seem like a huge compliment to many readers). Their narratives are both cold, distant and detached. Grisly things happen in horrific detail but there is no emotional attachment to them.

    As seems to be the case wit

    I read this entire book but, right from start until finish,

    .

    Perhaps this kind of thriller does not mix well with literary fiction for me. There were many things about

    that reminded me of the tone and style of

    (which I get will seem like a huge compliment to many readers). Their narratives are both cold, distant and detached. Grisly things happen in horrific detail but there is no emotional attachment to them.

    As seems to be the case with almost all thrillers I read lately, this book alternates between the past - 1982, to be exact - and the present, which is 2008, during the economic collapse. In 1982, in a small town a couple of hours outside of New York City, Patrick, Matthew and Hannah go into the woods, and there Patrick witnesses a violent attack by Matthew against Hannah. Frozen to the spot, he does not attempt to stop the crime.

    I was prepared for the violence after reading other reviews. It is extremely graphic and disgusting and may be too much for some readers. Matthew shoots Hannah many times with a BB gun - this is not a spoiler; it all happens in the first chapter. Personally, I can handle most scenes of violence, so this wasn't a major problem for me.

    .

    Patrick's first person account in 1982 then switches to third person in 2008. While there is some life to the former, the latter consists largely of a meditation on gastronomy. Patrick slow cooks steak at the perfect temperature; dots little rounds of egg yolk around the centrepiece on a plate. Hannah's perspective is not much better, as she undertakes the writing of a true crime book.

    Even Matthew's perspective - the one I was most anticipating - drags with daily minutiae that I didn't care about. And when the inevitable "twist" in events is revealed, it is anticlimactic, probably even more so because the tension has all been drained by the tedious padding in between. I also don't think it did much to change my opinion of the characters.

    In the case of

    , "literary thriller" seems to mean a thriller with all thrills removed.

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