Grist Mill Road

Grist Mill Road

The year is 1982, the setting an Edenic hamlet some 90 miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends—Patrick, Matthew and Hannah— are bound together by a single, terrible, and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves could never have pred...

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

Grist Mill Road Reviews

  • Faith

    In 1982 in a small upstate New York town, teenaged Matthew, Patrick and Hannah were spending a pleasant summer day together. The day ended in an horrific act of violence. In 2008 in New York City the lives of the three converge again. The story is told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of the three protagonists and slips back and forth between the two critical years. It's not really possible to describe anything that happens in this book without spoiling it.

    The story is definitely n

    In 1982 in a small upstate New York town, teenaged Matthew, Patrick and Hannah were spending a pleasant summer day together. The day ended in an horrific act of violence. In 2008 in New York City the lives of the three converge again. The story is told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of the three protagonists and slips back and forth between the two critical years. It's not really possible to describe anything that happens in this book without spoiling it.

    The story is definitely not as straightforward as it initially appears. This book gave me whiplash, with my sympathies constantly shifting from character to character. One or more of these people has a faulty grasp of what happened in the past. One or more of these people may not even be completely sane. By the end of the book I still had lots of questions about facts and motives. There is a long, pointless segue into the evolution of a cement company, but other than that the book moves along at a brisk pace and was very suspenseful at the end. It's a good twisty book that messes with your head.

    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  • 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.

  • Liz Barnsley

    Now I was a HUGE fan of Black Chalk, the first novel from this author that I read moons ago now – it was a work of literary genius, a puzzle piece of sheer reading joy, so to say that I was both excited and somewhat apprehensive to read Grist Mill Road is perhaps an understatement.

    Turns out Black Chalk was not a one off in the quality sense – Grist Mill Road is a twisted and intelligent tale of three friends and the actions that tie them together – once more the author plays with your perception

    Now I was a HUGE fan of Black Chalk, the first novel from this author that I read moons ago now – it was a work of literary genius, a puzzle piece of sheer reading joy, so to say that I was both excited and somewhat apprehensive to read Grist Mill Road is perhaps an understatement.

    Turns out Black Chalk was not a one off in the quality sense – Grist Mill Road is a twisted and intelligent tale of three friends and the actions that tie them together – once more the author plays with your perceptions throughout the narrative, showing you one thing that later looks like quite another, all the while digging into the psychology of our main protagonists in a way that is genuinely compelling. Starting off with an emotional punch to the senses within a disturbing scene setter we then start to find out the why’s and wherefore’s and how it came to be, the emphasis being very much on on character and motivation. It is slippery, every assumption you make has to be taken back a little with the next thing you find out and whatever you think at the beginning I can almost guarantee you’ll be thinking something else by the end.

    I loved it – it forced me to think outside the box, to consider the difference between what we see and what is true – my sympathies wavered throughout, one of the biggest strengths of this novel is in the authenticity of the characters you are reading about. It is not about good and evil, but all the shades of grey in between those two things – honest human nature. Hannah, Matthew and Patrick all have those very human hidden depths that are in us all, it is not until you reach the end of Grist Mill Road that they are laid bare for your judgment – on who they are, on what they did, on all of it. Brilliant. Honestly it is just brilliant.

    The writing is intense, almost voyeuristic and beautifully beautifully done – it has just reiterated for me that I prefer the more literary side of crime in a lot of ways, the ones that keep me up at night after finishing them pondering life and all it’s foibles and pondering people and all their secrets. Grist Mill Road is absolutely mesmerizing, descriptively passionate and unbelievably addictive, with an ending that resonates and digs deep into your soul. These are the ones we read for!

    Highly Recommended.

  • Jan

    4.5 stars

    If you like dark mysteries, this one is for you!

    Imagine the early 1980's as a teenager, riding around and exploring on your bike with your friends, just on the cusp of adulthood. Life is good, until a horrible crime takes place and shatters everything you know. One friend loses an eye, another pays the price in prison, and one tries to pretend it never happened.

    Now skip ahead 26 years later, and imagine 2 of these friends have somehow ended up married, and the 3rd has just resurfaced in

    4.5 stars

    If you like dark mysteries, this one is for you!

    Imagine the early 1980's as a teenager, riding around and exploring on your bike with your friends, just on the cusp of adulthood. Life is good, until a horrible crime takes place and shatters everything you know. One friend loses an eye, another pays the price in prison, and one tries to pretend it never happened.

    Now skip ahead 26 years later, and imagine 2 of these friends have somehow ended up married, and the 3rd has just resurfaced in their lives. Intrigued?

    Reading this was like peeling back the layers of an onion, slowly, one by one. So many times I thought I had a clue as to what was going on, only to find out I had no flipping idea. I was kept guessing up until the end, and I have to say I loved it!

    Some thoughts that ran through my head while reading this:

    -Could there be more than one unreliable narrative?

    -Who is the one with the secrets, or is it all of them?

    -Is someone lying, or do they really not know?

    It all comes together in the end like one big explosion, and I enjoyed every minute of it!

    ARC provided by NetGalley

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at:

    should have been included in my “Best Of” yearly wrap up for 2017.

    The part that sucks is, this is one of those tales where the less said, the better. I’ll let the book do the talking and you can see if it might be something that would tickle your fancy

    Find all of my reviews at:

    should have been included in my “Best Of” yearly wrap up for 2017.

    The part that sucks is, this is one of those tales where the less said, the better. I’ll let the book do the talking and you can see if it might be something that would tickle your fancy . . . .

    That’s for sure. In case you aren’t my friend here, I did something I rarely do and posted a status update while I was reading this. That update happened at the 4% mark and I looked like this . . . .

    To sum things up in the most basic manner possible,

    is . . . .

    I didn’t really know anything before I tried to get my hands on a copy of this book other than my friend

    gave it all the stars. I figured the worst that would happen was I would be told no (per usual) and I’d add it to both the mountain which is my TBR list and also to one of my nuisance emails to the local bibliotech where I beg them to order things for my poor ass. To say it blew me away is an understatement. The blurb references an

    -esque quality to the story. I’ll take it a step further. If

    and

    had a baby it would be pretty near effing perfect. It might be this book. Shelved frequently on GR as a “mystery/thriller,” that is a moniker that really sells

    short. If you “read it right” (hehehe like I always do) the mystery will become ancillary and your focus will be on the people themselves and their stories rather than that surrounding the superbadawful. Once again, the book says it perfectly all on its own . . . .

    6 Stars. I mean 5. Whatever.

  • 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. Many thanks to Macmillan Picador for an ARC.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)

    You can read all of my reviews at

    .

    If you’re a friend or follower on here on Goodreads, you may have seen my status update at page 108:

    And this one at page 163:

    A brief status update at the end of the book would have looked something like this:

    And that pretty much sums it up.

    started out slowly. Everything seeme

    You can read all of my reviews at

    .

    If you’re a friend or follower on here on Goodreads, you may have seen my status update at page 108:

    And this one at page 163:

    A brief status update at the end of the book would have looked something like this:

    And that pretty much sums it up.

    started out slowly. Everything seemed very obvious and thought I knew where it was going. Until I didn’t. Once I didn’t, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. (Hence my

    ) While I have no objection to this lead up, per se, I did think 108 pages was a few too many to have to read before all the “good stuff” started happening.

    The story was told from the points of view of Hannah, Matthew, and Patrick with interspersed chapters flashing back to the horrific event of 1892 that bound them together. This worked really well for me. I love an unreliable narrator and having three made the suspense almost unbearable. I was constantly doubting each character and couldn’t wait for the truth to come out. Christopher J. Yates in an extremely talented writer in terms of both imagination and execution.

    The ending, however, left me feeling somewhat frustrated. While I appreciate books that don’t have neat and tidy endings, I was a little taken aback by this one. I may have been a little more forgiving of the conclusive events themselves if not for the feelings I had about Matthew’s character. I could not reconcile 1982 Matthew with 2008 Matthew. It just seemed like something was missing.That’s all I can say without spoilers but if you read the book, please feel free to DM me for an offline discussion. I am chomping at the bit to hash it out with someone.

    This book had an enormous amount of potential. While it fell a little short for me in relation to its potential, I would definitely look forward to reading Christopher J. Yate’s future novels.

    3.5/5 stars

    Many thanks to Picador USA for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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