Editions Actes Sud
***Original manuscript in English***
“J&G Dryansky's latest novel has that seductive combination rarely found in fiction these days—powerful suspense, emotional depth, and real entertainment. Which, once you start reading, makes Satan Lake diabolically difficult to put down.”—Alan Furst
A dark and clever coming-of-age novel about two teenagers, a series of high crimes, and punishment, Satan Lake skillfully combines horror, hope, and even humor to tell a story that brings to mind The Virgin Suicides and American Beauty.
Things couldn’t be worse for Angie and Ross, two 14-year-old friends. Angie’s parents are recently divorced, and though her father has custody of her, he forces her to spend the summer with her mother because he is too “busy” in Manhattan having an affair with his 18-year-old intern. Her mother has moved back to her hometown in upstate New York and is also too “busy” with her newfound sexual freedom to care much about her daughter. Angie takes a summer job at her Uncle Vinnie’s pizzeria. Come the end of her workday, Angie seldom has a home to return to; her mother needs the house for “parties” and often locks Angie out.
Her only friend is Ross, who works with her at the pizzeria. He is the son of the town’s police chief—and has problems of his own. Ross’s mother has a terminal illness and only a short while to live, and his father Will is on a hunt for a killer who repeatedly manages to sneak up on people during the sex act. When the local librarian is shot during an S&M session, the town manager sends for help the police chief doesn’t want—and that’s only the beginning. . . .
Twenty-five years later, Angie tells how she fell in love with Ross and about their unforgettable journey to Satan Lake. The story of the murder investigation is told in a parallel narrative that includes Will’s mentally ill brother Charles, Thurston, a local murder suspect, and a town that keeps its nasty secrets carefully hidden.
J&G Dryansky : Gerry Dryansky is the senior European correspondent of Condé Nast Traveler, and Joanne Dryansky is a screenwriter. Both are native New Yorkers who moved to Paris in the mid-1980s. This husband-and-wife team wrote Fatima’s Good Fortune, which was published to critical acclaim in 2003 by Miramax in the United States and Hutchinson in the United Kingdom. Gerry has published two other novels, Other People (Saturday Review Press/E.P. Dutton, 1973) and The Heirs (Putnam, 1978).