The Bright Lands (Hardcover)
Compiling the list for my Best of West Award nominations and this one has definitely made the shortlist. The conservative Texas town of Bentley holds its high school football team to superstar status. When the popular quarterback Dylan Whitley goes missing the book seems like a typical hardboiled murder mystery. However, it takes a very Stephen King twist when secrets are uncovered, and mysteries are unraveled. What are the Bright Lands? Well-written, fast-paced thriller. – Kim B.Ardent April Staff Picks
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.