Pub Date 10 Oct 2017
Sixty-one-year-old Shelby Truman, a romance novelist, has received a request to visit her childhood friend, Eddie, who is on Death Row. Though mentally ill, Eddie is scheduled to be executed for the disturbing, brutal murders of his wife and unborn child.
As Shelby travels home to Texas for the unnerving reunion, she steps back into memories of her past, recalling her five-decade-long relationship with Eddie in order to understand what led the beautiful but troubled boy who lived across the street to become a murderer. Shelby and Eddie used to visit an abandoned fallout shelter in his backyard, their "secret hiding place" where they could escape Eddie's abusive father, enjoy innocent playtime, and, later, adolescent explorations. As they grow increasingly close, a tragedy occurs one July fourth, an event that sets in motion a lifelong struggle against an Evil—with a capital "E"—that has corrupted their all-American neighborhood.
With only a few days left for Eddie to live, Shelby braces herself for a reunion that promises to shed light on the traumatic events that transpired on her street, changing everything Shelby thought she knew about the boy on Chicory Lane.
"A first class thriller craftsman."
"One of the best thriller writers in the business."
“A beautifully written thriller, filled with richly drawn characters, memorable dialogue, and a searing portrayal of a life-long friendship. Raymond Benson is a talented storyteller, and this is one of his best novels yet.”
―Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Ex
"Where a novel lands on a bookstore shelf is defined by label: mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, literary. Raymond Benson’s The Secrets on Chicory Lane is all of those things, and a little more. . . . Benson sculpts perfect sentences and scenes, memories and emotions dripping off the pages. I found parts of myself inside it . . . snatches of my childhood, awkward bits from long years ago . . . . A damn fine book."
―Jean Rabe, USA TODAY bestselling author
"In a bold move away from the thrillers for which he’s best known, Raymond Benson offers readers a heartfelt and tragic tale. Across decades, the dark secrets on Chicory Lane shape and misshape the lives of all who live there. Benson, a master of suspense, has crafted a story as compelling as any thriller but with a depth of feeling few thrillers achieve. And the ending, I guarantee, will leave you breathless."
―William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling and Edgar award–winning author of Ordinary Grace
"The Secrets on Chicory Lane has a premise to envy: A killer and the girl next door meet one last time before execution day. How much do we know the people we have spent our lives with? Raymond Benson explores the nature of evil and how little chance we have to recognize it when we see it, or escape it, if we do."
―Lori Rader-Day, Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning author of The Day I Died
"Pitch-perfect characters drew me in; unrelenting suspense left me breathless by the end. Raymond Benson is a master storyteller."
―Molly MacRae, award-winning author of the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries
"A wonderfully written and heartbreaking account . . . as good a coming-of-age novel as I have read for many a year, but Benson’s skill as a storyteller doesn’t stop there. He delivers the poignancy and unbearable sensitivity of first love and sexual awakening. His account of how children escape from the shackles slapped on by their parents is masterly. . . . There is also a very clever murder mystery, which isn’t resolved until the last few pages, and then the resolution brings only heartbreak."