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On a bright summer morning by the sea in Rhode Island, the FBI visits Susan Ford. They question her about an Iraqi Chaldean named Sammy Fakhouri, but Mrs. Ford denies knowing him. Flashback to the summer of 1979, when a much-younger Susan meets wild Annie Nelson, who lures her to work at a shabby disco on the crumbling edge of Detroit—a disco populated by pretty girls and older men, some of whom are Iraqi Chaldeans. As Mrs. Ford grapples to spin her story to an increasingly dubious FBI, truths long hidden from that fateful summer threaten her carefully created existence.
Once I started Ms. Royce’s book, I couldn’t put it down. The characters are real, relatable and compelling. The story weaves effortlessly it seems between past and present with unexpected yet believable plot twists that left me gasping out loud. As a resident of South County - the RI region that encompasses the town of Watch Hill - I loved the bits of history and the people and places referenced. A brilliant debut novel that left me wanting to read more from this author.