The Long Long Afternoon - Inga Vesper
A wonderfully compelling and assured debut for anyone who loved The Help or Tangerine. It's the summer of 1959, and the well-trimmed lawns of Sunnylakes, California, wilt under the sun. At some point during the long long afternoon, Joyce Haney, wife, mother, vanishes from her home, leaving behind two terrified children and a bloodstain on the kitchen floor. While the Haney's neighbours get busy organising search parties, it is Ruby Wright, the family's 'help' who may hold the key to this unsettling mystery. But what might it cost her to get involved? In these long hot summer afternoons, simmering with lies, mistrust and prejudice, it could only take one spark for this whole 'perfect' world to set alight.
A twisty mystery set in a era beginning to question the status quo in respect of both gender and race and a heroine you can't help but love.