The Healing of Luther Grove by Barry Gornell
I lead a writer’s group In the village, wkwriters and we were thrilled when local author Barry Gornell agreed to come and speak to us about his first novel, The Healing of Luther Grove. Most of us made a point of reading his book before that meeting. we have certainly all read it since! It is a beautifully written, brooding modern thriller.
John and Laura Payne arrive at their newly renovated Highland home. They are wealthy thirty-somethings hoping to leave their problems behind in the city when they move to a beautiful rural setting. However, the couple’s presence disturbs neighbour and local eccentric, Luther Grove. It forces him to confront long buried secrets; that draw him inextricably to Laura and trigger a conflict with John.
The arrival of John’s brother, Frank, proves to be the spark that ignites the triangular relationship. Indeed, all three men have unhealthy attitudes towards Laura. Ultimately the safety and sanity of all four is endangered and they are propelled towards a bloody and tragic dénouement.
This is a stunning debut novel. Barry Gornell, builds the tension flawlessly, showing genuine sympathy for his principle characters in this elegant and acutely observed psychological thriller. Parts of the novel are unpleasantly graphic and the ending is violently tense. However, I do not want to spoil the novel for you, because I did not see the ending coming. This is a marvellous book. I highly recommend it.