One of the hundred books a year I read:

One of the hundred books a year I read:

The book cover for David Joy's "Those We Thought We Knew"

Those We Thought We Knew

David Joy

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Deputy Ernie Allison investigates a sleeping man in a car. The man is a stranger to the rural North Carolina mountains, but he has a notebook with many notable locals’ names. He also has a folded Ku Klux Klan robe. When the deputy later attempts to retrieve the notebook, someone else has removed it.

Toya Gardner returns from Atlanta to spend the summer with her grandmother and secures artist space in the local university to focus on her work. Discovering a Confederate monument stands proudly in the center of the small town, she wonders how her grandmother and other black ancestors have dealt with racism in a place everyone knows everyone. When she organizes a protest, people discover secrets buried for generations about their neighbors.

Deputy Allison refuses to stop his search for the missing notebook and is kidnapped and beaten for his efforts. Toya is murdered and her body is left on the side of a road.

Sheriff John Coggins, weeks from his retirement, investigates Deputy Allison’s beating. Detective Leah Green searches for Toya’s murderer. Is the same person or persons responsible for both crimes? Or is something even more heinous happening in a divided community?

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