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Novel Secrets of Eden: Criminal Investigation Story Surrounding Deaths

Secrets of Eden, Chris Bohjalian‘s new novel, tells the story of the criminal investigation surrounding the tragic deaths.

Haverill, Vermont, the bucolic setting for much of this story, is a place of great beauty and ugly secrets.

When Alice Hayward, a member of Stephen’s Baptist congregation, is found strangled in her home, it’s assumed her abusive husband, George, finally went too far.

Drowning in booze and grief, he then, apparently, shot himself in the head.

Stephen blames himself. His faith appears to falter. Shouldn’t he have been able to foresee this tragedy?

Then Heather Laurent enters the picture. She’s a best-selling author of inspirational titles who comes to Haverill in hopes of helping the pastor with his loss of faith and comforting the Haywards’ now-orphaned teenage daughter, Katie.

Heather considers herself well-equipped to help these two lost souls — her faith is strong and she believes in angels — and her parents, like Katie’s, died in a murder-suicide.

Stephen devolves into an unlikable womanizer, Heather appears to be a wack job we don’t want to take seriously, and the parentless Katie is the girl we all want to help.

Fans of Bohjalian’s 11 other novels (including Midwives) know to expect the unexpected and, thanks to his creativity and cunning, readers usually get walloped by one heck of a plot twist by book’s end.

In Secrets of Eden, the old saw that none of us knows what really goes on in a house when the shades are drawn rings chillingly true.

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