Title: The Current
Author: Tim Johnston
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publish Date: January 22, 2019
Genre: Mystery Thriller
My Rating: 3/5
Tim Johnston, whose breakout debut Descent was called “astonishing,” “dazzling,” and “unforgettable” by critics, returns with The Current, a tour de force about the indelible impact of a crime on the lives of innocent people.
In the dead of winter, outside a small Minnesota town, state troopers pull two young women and their car from the icy Black Root River. One is found downriver, drowned, while the other is found at the scene—half frozen but alive.
What happened was no accident, and news of the crime awakens the community’s memories of another young woman who lost her life in the same river ten years earlier, and whose killer may still live among them.
Determined to find answers, the surviving young woman soon realizes that she’s connected to the earlier unsolved case by more than just a river, and the deeper she plunges into her own investigation, the closer she comes to dangerous truths, and to the violence that simmers just below the surface of her hometown.
Grief, suspicion, the innocent and the guilty—all stir to life in this cold northern town where a young woman can come home, but still not be safe. Brilliantly plotted and unrelentingly propulsive, The Current is a beautifully realized story about the fragility of life, the power of the past, and the need, always, to fight back.
Two college friends are in a tragic accident when their vehicle goes in the river. One is found alive, but the other is killed. The police investigate to determine if it was an accident or intentional. The accident reminds locals of a similar case from ten years earlier, when a young woman was killed at the river and the case was never solved.
Two different mysteries combine in this intriguing and slow-burning novel. One mystery concerns the current car accident involving two young women. They had an unsettling encounter at a convenience store, and there is a question of whether their car going into the river was accidental or if someone was intentionally trying to harm the girls. The other mystery involves an old, unsolved murder case. The current case brings back old memories, and a link between the cases. The surviving girl’s father was sheriff when the earlier murder occurred. He and a few others have been haunted by the unsolved case. Various connections from the past come into play, and secrets are revealed to old unanswered questions.
I love a good slow-burn mystery, but this one was a little too drawn out for me. The ending was great though. This is definitely not a book that is easy to guess what’s going to happen. Recommended for fans of character-driven mysteries. Atmospheric, dark, and mysterious.