SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET.
SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.
Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.
And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.
The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The "prince" of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.
He is also a psychopath.
A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau's evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend's headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.
As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux.
And that someone will pay with their life.
WARNING: Readers of Death by the River will encounter situations of violence and sexual abuse/rape which could be upsetting.
About the Author
Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author, an advanced practice registered nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. She has taught at major universities and worked in nursing for thirty years, dealing with victims of sexual assault, abuse, and mental illness in a clinical setting at many New Orleans area hospitals.
Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable.
A member of both the International Thriller Writers Association and the Horror Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance and has sold approximately one million books. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.
Read an Excerpt
Beau Devereaux stared at the clock, watching the minutes tick by. The only noise in the stuffy classroom was the monotonous, raspy voice of his teacher. Like a thoroughbred chomping at the bit, he waited to bolt.
The jarring bell couldn't have come soon enough. Not even taking time to put his book in his bag, Beau headed for the door. He turned a corner on his way to the gym and spotted a familiar dirty-blonde messy ponytail.
"Leslie." Beau cornered her in the hall, pinning her between a break in the lockers. "How's it going?"
Her blue eyes ripped into him — just what he expected. "What do you want, Beau?"
What did he want? He almost laughed. He drank in her flawless, porcelain complexion, the regal curve of her jaw, her small, perfectly shaped nose, and enticing full lips. His attention settled on the notch at the base of her neck. It fluttered like a scared little butterfly.
"Can't a guy say hello to his friend?" Beau put his arm on the wall behind her, trapping her between the lockers. "We see each other in the halls but never speak. Why is that?"
He loved watching her eyes dart about, searching for a rescue, but no one would challenge him. No one ever did.
"I'm not your friend." She shoved him back. "Go talk to Dawn."
He curled his hands into fists. If he couldn't have Leslie, her twin sister, Dawn, was the next best thing. He'd started dating her to get his mind off Leslie, but it hadn't worked. They were alike physically, but Dawn wasn't Leslie. She didn't have her sass. That he still wanted Leslie infuriated him. He always got what he wanted.
Beau leaned in, letting his breath tease her cheek. The scent of her skin, like fresh spring clover, filled his nose.
"One day, I'm going to take you to The Abbey and set things right between us."
"Is there a problem?"
The deep voice tinged with pseudo-macho angst buzzed in his ear like a gnat. Beau turned around, knowing who he would find — her trusty watchdog, Derek Foster. The brown- haired son of a waitress, Derek spent way too many hours studying with the geek patrol and not enough partying with the popular crowd.
"No problem, Foster," Beau said in a reassuring tone. "Your girl and I were just talking about next week's biology test."
Leslie edged around him. "Do you even know how to spell biology?"
He bristled at the question. That smart tongue of hers begged to be tamed.
A few students gathered next to the set of lockers to his right, taking in the encounter.
Beau gave his best wholesome grin. "That's really hostile, Leslie. I'm trying here, for your sister's sake."
Derek was about to pull her away when Beau wheeled around, stuck out his elbow, and landed a perfect shot right to Derek's cheek.
He stumbled back, bouncing off some freshman girls.
"Derek!" Leslie went to his side, pushing Beau out of the way.
Holding in his satisfaction, Beau displayed a fretful frown as he rushed up to Derek. "Oh, man. I am so sorry." He put a hand on his shoulder, avidly checking the red spot on his right cheek and suppressing a smug grin. "That was my fault, Derek. I didn't see you there."
Leslie shot him an icy glare. "You're an ass, Beau."
He gave her his best wide-eyed expression, reveling in her reaction. "I'm sorry, Leslie. It was an accident. I didn't mean to hit him." Beau spoke loud enough for onlookers to hear. "Stop making me out to be the bad guy here. I know you dislike me, but can you give this attitude of yours a break?"
Derek took Leslie's hand. "I'm fine. It was an accident. Let it go."
Beau smiled sweetly at her. "You should listen to your boyfriend."
"What's going on here?"
Ms. Greenbriar's screeching voice made all three of them spin around. The middle-aged principal of St. Benedict High stood with her hands on her hips.
Beau presented the principal with one of his winning smiles. "Nothing, ma'am. Just a misunderstanding. I caught Derek with my elbow when I turned around. My fault entirely."
Ms. Greenbriar shifted her beady brown eyes to Derek. "Mr. Foster, anything you want to add?"
Derek nursed his cheek. "No, ma'am. It was an accident, just like Beau said."
She tapped her high-heel on the tile floor, glancing from Beau to Derek. "My office, Mr. Devereaux."
Beau backed away from the lockers as his stomach tightened with anger. "Yes, ma'am."
* * *
Leslie bolted out of the wood and glass double doors to St. Benedict High School, tugging Derek behind her. The strong October sun shone down, highlighting the red mark covering Derek's right cheek and sending a sharp pain through her chest.
Damn Beau Devereaux.
For almost a year she'd tolerated his comments and lewd glances, but since she'd started dating Derek, he'd stepped up his game.
"I can't believe he punched you like that."
Derek wrapped his arm around her waist and ushered her down the stone steps to the school parking lot. "He didn't punch me. It was an accident."
She halted and stared at him numb with disbelief. "You don't buy his bullshit, do you?"
"No, but what am I going to do about it? Punch him back?" Derek urged her along. "Then I would be the one in Greenbriar's office, not him."
She searched the parking lot while students on the grassy quad outside the school entrance sat on benches, tossed footballs, studied their laptops, or listened to music.
"Does anyone in this town stand up to him?" Leslie shook her head. "He's got everyone believing he's Mr. Perfect and I'm the crazy bitch."
Derek slipped the book bag off her shoulder to carry it. "No one thinks you're crazy, least of all me."
The simple gentlemanly gesture melted her heart. Leslie touched Derek's dimpled chin, feeling fortunate. "Maybe we should go have you checked out. Just in case."
"It's just a bruise. I'll be fine." He stopped on the sidewalk at the bottom of the steps. "What did he say to you, anyway?"
A car turned on a monster bass, blasting the park-like setting with hard rock.
Derek glanced at the source of the noise. "I still don't get how the guy can be crazy about your twin sister and not like you at all."
Leslie removed the band holding her ponytail. "Sometimes I think she went out with him to spite me." She ran her hand through her shoulder-length hair.
"What makes you say such a thing?"
She shrugged and fell in step beside him. "We aren't exactly the closest of sisters. It was always a competition between us when we were younger. I joined the swim team, and then Dawn joined. Dawn wanted to join Brownies, so did I. Except I gave up competing with her when we got into high school." She gazed down at the neatly trimmed grass beneath her feet. "Dawn never stopped. Sometimes I think that's why she became a cheerleader and started seeing Beau — to show me she could."
Derek put a protective arm around her shoulders. "I can't see her dating Devereaux to get back at you. He's the richest and most popular guy in town. Isn't he every girl's dream?"
Leslie stopped short, shuddering. "Not mine. There's something off about him."
"He's just a guy used to getting his way. My guess, it comes from two hundred years of inbreeding. Don't all those old, rich Southern families marry their cousins? Maybe that's his problem. Too many crazy relatives in his family tree."
A brisk wind stirred as they crossed the blacktop to the white Honda Accord she shared with her sister. The chill wrapped around her, seeping into her bones. She wasn't sure if it was a change in weather coming, or something else.
Derek nudged her. "Hey, you okay?"
She came out of her daze, shaking off the bizarre feeling. "Just really sick of dealing with Beau."
Derek smiled at her from across the roof of the car and her heart skipped a beat.
"I know what we could do. Want to sneak up to The Abbey? I could show you around. It's pretty cool."
She didn't like the idea of crawling around the derelict abbey. She'd never been to the abandoned St. Francis Seminary on the banks of the Bogue Falaya River but had heard stories from friends.
"I don't want to go there. We should get you home and see to your cheek." She hit the remote on her key chain and unlocked the doors.
"Stop worrying. I'm fine." He climbed into the car, brandishing a wicked grin. "We can skip The Abbey tour and hang out at the river."
She put her book bag in the back seat. "I have no interest in going to the river. I've told you that before."
"No. You told me you used to go there but stopped around the time we met."
Leslie wanted to jump all over him for pursuing the subject, but she didn't. Her life had been empty before she'd met Derek. They had shared classes for almost a year before getting the courage to talk.
"Do you remember the first time you spoke to me?" she asked, warmed by the memory.
"How could I forget?" He leaned over the console. "I left class early and found Beau pinning you against a locker. Seems to be a thing with him. Anyway, you threatened to tell everyone his dick was the size of a number two pencil. I was impressed."
She laughed as Beau's horrified expression came back to her. "And you told him to leave me alone and then offered to buy me a soda. Never realized how thoughtful you were."
"Then why did it take you two months to go out with me?"
Leslie started the car. "Because I wanted to see how serious you were."
A bit rough around the edges, Derek reminded her a little of James Dean, with his bashful glances and soulful brown eyes. He was from, what some would call, "the wrong side of the tracks." The total opposite of the polished Beau Devereaux. But Leslie didn't care where he came from or how he dressed — Derek Foster was the most perfect boy in the universe. Cute, smart, and funny, when he'd finally asked her out, she hadn't wanted to ruin her daydreams of him with the disappointment of reality. But she'd taken a chance, and six months later, here they were.
A funny fluttering cascaded through her stomach with one glance at his contagious smile. "If I agree to go to the river, what did you want to do there?"
Derek sat back in his seat, his eyes on the road, his smile beaming. "I'll come up with something."CHAPTER 2
Beau sat on a wooden bench outside of Ms. Greenbriar's, aka Madbriar's, door in the austere administrative offices of the school. He tapped one finger methodically on his elbow while staring out the window as students rushed by in the hall.
He waited, keeping a lid on the anxiety rising up his spine.
The occasional stares of the other students did not bother him, but he needed to get to practice. Coach Brewer hated it when any of his players were late, and Beau made it a point never to show a lack of discipline. Next to his father, Coach Brewer was the only man whose anger he tried never to incur.
"Beau," Ms. Greenbriar called from her office.
He stood from the bench, raked his hand through his hair, and put on his best smile.
Once in the tiny room, jam packed with bookcases, he took in her crummy desk and outdated computer.
This will be fun.
"You want to tell me what that was about with Leslie Moore and Derek Foster?"
"I was speaking to Leslie when Derek came up. I accidentally hit him with my elbow when I turned around." He cleared his throat, turning his eyes to the floor. "I know how you feel about fighting, and I completely understand if you want to punish me for hitting Derek Foster."
Madbriar took a seat behind her cheap desk, her chair squeaking. "Relax, Beau. You're an exemplary student and an upstanding member of the community. No one is questioning your behavior." She sat back, staring at him for a moment. "I was wondering if you could tell your dad to give me a call when he can. I want to talk to him about having Benedict Brewery donate beer for the fundraiser the school is having for the new gym addition."
Beau folded his hands, keeping the tips of his index fingers together, a thrill of amusement running through him. Everyone always wanted something from him or his family. Being the town's biggest employer, his family was expected to donate to every fundraiser in St. Benedict. He sometimes wondered how his father put up with all the parasites.
"Sure. No problem. I will let him know, but he's always happy to help out."
She pointed at the office door. "Now, you'd better get to practice."
His tension eased, and he stood from the chair. Beau wanted to pat himself on the back for an impeccable performance.
"Thanks, Ms. Greenbriar."
"And Beau, do yourself a favor," she called when he reached the door. "Stay away from Leslie Moore."
He gripped the door handle, squeezing it with all his might.
She picked up an open a folder "That girl is trouble. The kind you need to stay away from."
He nodded then hurried from her office, chuckling.
Trouble is my middle name.
* * *
A load lifted from Leslie's shoulders the moment she put the red-bricked walls of St. Benedict High School behind her. The place felt like a prison and made her stomach turn every time she pulled into the parking lot. She knew the reason — just the idea of running into his six-foot-two, muscular frame made her tremble. The months of putting up with Beau had taken their toll.
She relaxed her hands on the steering wheel, the cool afternoon breeze running through her hair as she drove toward Main Street.
She took in the rustic storefronts set between modern buildings. The hodgepodge of styles reminded her of the people in the town, an interesting blend of old families who had lived in St. Benedict for several generations, and new families running away from the urban sprawl taking over the larger nearby cities.
Derek reached over and gently touched her leg. "Why don't you like going to the river? You never told me."
Leslie glanced at a thick swath of honeysuckle vines on the side of the road, her unease returning.
"All you ever said was you went to the river with Dawn junior year, ran into Beau and his friends, and swore you'd never go back."
Leslie's shoulders drooped. "Dawn and I got invited to the river by some seniors. Being asked to party on the river at night was a big deal to me." Her stomach twisted. "Beau started out talking to me, and I knew he was interested, but Dawn didn't like that. So when I went to grab a beer, she stepped in and pretended she was me. She hit on Beau, hard. They hooked up and disappeared. I got stuck fighting off his football buddies who wanted to bring me to The Abbey and show me a good time."
Derek's face scrunched. "What did you do?"
Leslie raised her nose in the air, giving him her best snarky smirk. "I started spouting feminist literature and they ran for the hills."
Derek shook his head. "I bet that was a scary situation for you."
"It was." Her voice cracked. "When three guys start manhandling you, you want to run away. I tried to get Dawn to go with me, but she refused and stayed with Beau. So I headed back to the road and walked to town."
"At night?" His voice edged up. "That was dangerous, Leslie."
She took in the sunlight skipping over the tops of the buildings along the street. The smell of grilling hamburgers from Mo's Diner lingered in the air.
"Staying at the party was dangerous. A virgin hanging around a bunch of drunk and horny football players would only end badly."
Derek edged closer. "I don't want you to put yourself in that situation again. The only guy I want drunk and horny around you is me."
Leslie considered the inkling of possessiveness in his voice. "But you never try anything with me when you're drunk or horny."
He sat back. "That will change one day."
Near the edge of town, the buildings retreated and tall oak trees covered with Spanish moss replaced them. The gentle breeze ruffling the treetops eased her tension.
Leslie turned off Main Street and headed down Devereaux Road toward the remains of St. Francis Abbey.
Derek hooked his hand around her thigh. "I want your first time to be special. But that doesn't mean we can't fool around at The Abbey." He bobbed his eyebrows. "What do you say?"
She let her foot off the gas, slowing as the road narrowed, her sense of dread returning. "Are you sure you want to go to those ruins? The place is so eerie."
Derek flashed a boyish grin. "Hell yeah."
The trees around them dipped and the spires of St. Francis Abbey peeked out. The car cruised along the road and the ruins of the towering white marble and brick structure rose behind a patch of trees. A horrible chill enveloped her. Leslie slammed on the brakes, not wanting to go any farther.
Derek leaned in front of her. "Is something wrong?"
Tearing her gaze away from the ghastly structure, she sought refuge in his eyes and the feeling passed.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Death by the River"
Copyright © 2018 Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor.
Excerpted by permission of Vesuvian Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Inspired in part by true events, Death by the River by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor [Vesuvian Books, October 2018] is the kind of skin-crawling, queasy-feeling-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach story that needs to be told and demands to be read. Twin sisters Leslie and Dawn might share the same dirty blonde hair and blue eyes, but that’s where their similarities end. Leslie is sharp-tongued and quick-witted, dating a sweet boy named Derek from the other side of the tracks that her mother doesn’t approve of. Meanwhile, Dawn is living every small town, Southern girl’s dream: she’s head of the cheer squad and the girlfriend of the high school’s star quarterback—who also happens to be rich, handsome, and with a pedigree that has the whole town eating out of its palm. Unfortunately, all of Dawn’s dreams are about to come crashing down, because Beau Devereaux is not the catch of the generation. He’s a misogynistic, sadistic psychopath with some serious anger issues and a deep hatred of women—but that’s just the sort of thing his father has spent a lot of good money on keeping quiet. Beau might be Dawn’s boyfriend, but it’s Leslie that is the object of his infatuation. When his plan to woo Leslie by keeping her sister close doesn’t go according to plan, Beau’s frustration finds temporarily—and increasingly violent—reprieve in punishing other women as stand-ins for the one girl “crazy enough” to not be interested (eye roll). Beau’s progression from manipulator, to rapist, to murderer is a journey through psychosis that begins with terrorizing his own mother and ends with more than one dead body floating in the Bogue Falaya River near the ruins of the abandoned St. Francis Seminary where high school students like to party on the weekends and where wild dogs—and a spectral lady in white—are said to only appear when death is near. This story is, admittedly, not for the faint of heart. It's violent and comes with a trigger warning on sexual assault with scenes in the book that range from subtle verbal abuse to full-on rape. Nevertheless, Weis and Astor capture Devereaux’s deplorable misogyny and psychotic tendencies with a delicate grace that makes the story captivating while still coating you in that icky feeling that doesn’t wash off in the shower. The guy doesn’t have a single redeemable bone in his body, but that doesn’t make him an unrealistic antagonist. In fact, it might be just what makes him feel so damn familiar. Every woman has known a man like Beau Devereaux, and if you haven’t…well, it’s probably because you didn’t know you did. This reviewer certainly has, and everything from Beau’s subtle exploitations to his overt sexism ring painfully true. Readers may not appreciate Beau’s increasingly erratic descent into madness or the fickleness of teenage fidelity—and there’s nothing about this story that makes it a heartwarming read—but that doesn’t stop Death by the River from being a book that every teenage girl should read. As Weis states in her endnote: Beau’s victims keep quiet for the same reason many young women do today—fear of reprisals, humiliation, peer pressure, and lack of trust in a system that largely ignores or blames them. While this truth doesn’t make Death By the River a pleasant read, it does make it an important one—the type of cautionary tale that keeps you alive by reminding you that sometimes the biggest horrors aren’t the monsters hiding under the bed or the ones that exist somewhere else in the world, but the ones h
Death by the River by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor is a thriller that combines elements of romance and obsession with intrigue and murder. It's a dark story that follows psychopath Beau Devereaux and the headstrong girl he has set his sights on. The book begins with Beau cornering Leslie Moore, but her hatred of him soon becomes clear. Told from several alternating point of view, this book allows the reader to see inside Beau's head to disturbing thoughts about his obsessive desire for Leslie, and also allows the reader to experience Leslie's emotional reactions to his aggression toward her and his comments that make her feel very uncomfortable in his presence. The reader also sees how Beau lays on the charm to fool everyone else around him. I really liked that as the reader I knew his true thoughts and wasn't fooled by his false facade. The author immediately started dropping hints about little mysteries that had me intrigued. While Beau’s secrets are more obvious from his behavior, Leslie's are not so apparent at first. Slowly, the reader learns more about her, the people around her, and the town itself. Secrets are revealed about teenage drama far beyond what is expected. I really enjoyed reading this book. It kept me engaged, and the main character, Leslie, was interesting and complicated enough that I found her a sympathetic character to root for.
Beau Devereaux seems to have everything. The son of a well off family, quarterback, and the perfect girlfriend. What more could he want? Well let’s start off with his girlfriend’s twin sister. Beau has some serious issues but has had these covered up by his family. This has just created an even worse monster. But not everyone sees the outside of him. Leslie sees the truth. She tries to convince her sister of what Beau really is but Dawn is the perfect match to Beau and doesn’t want to listen to her sister. So Leslie just tries to stay out of his way. Unfortunately Beau is not going to take no for an answer. This story is told from three people: Dawn, Leslie, and Beau. Beau is a real monster. Knowing this put him in his place in my mind right from the start. Although we learn of the stuff this jerk has done didn’t really shock me, it made me want the little jerk dead in a horrific way. I was frustrated with Dawn. She was willing to turn a blind eye to Beau just to be popular. I do have to remind myself that this is teenagers we are talking about but still, I just wanted to shake her. And Leslie, what a horrible thing, to see the monster your sister is dating but not be able to do anything. Not even avoiding him really made a difference. This is a great, dark story. Beau is someone that just needs to disappear. But I have to say the ending completely threw me in a great way. If you like your thrillers dark look no further. Just note that this is a YA story and probably should apply to older teens. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
Every now and then comes a novel that rises above storytelling for mere entertainment and acts as a critical commentary of social mores. I couldn’t put this book down not only because the story and the characters were so compelling and well-written, but also because the topic is near and dear to my heart. Sexual assault and relationship violence among high schoolers is not a “boys will be boys” and “teens will be teens” situation that can or should be easily shrugged off or dismissed. There are real and terrible consequences to ignoring such behavior; something that the characters here discover at their peril. In the beginning, Beau Devereaux has the world at his feet. He’s the star quarterback on his high school’s football team, he’s dating the popular captain of the cheerleading squad, and his family’s wealth has made the town into his own personal kingdom. Everyone looks to the Devereauxes for economic sustenance, and everyone looks to Beaux to be the next great business and community leader that his father has been. And, most importantly to Beaux, he is the king of the river, the place where all the area kids go to party. He has it all. Almost. Every move, gesture, word, action, and expression are carefully watched by all the adults surrounding him, either to praise him or to keep him under control. Because while Beaux has most of the town fooled, some see him for what he really is: a monstrous volcano ready to explode. He wants what he can’t have and as his urges grow stronger and darker, his carefully crafted image is about to morph into something else entirely. Its both disturbing and fascinating to see into the mind of a psychopath as he manipulates, schemes, and effortlessly switches between personas. The authors, one of whom includes a thoughtful essay on the main subject, are quite good at enveloping the reader into the characters’ emotional worlds. The need to know what was going to happen to them and what decisions they were going to make kept me hungrily turning the pages. Even though there was some foreshadowing of what would happen in the end, there was a twist that I didn’t entirely see coming, which was a delightful surprise. This is one that will stay with me long afterwards. When a book gets under my skin like this one did, then I know it’s top notch. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys true crime, suspense, and psychological thrillers.
Wow, this book! A super dark, twisted, psychological obsession of a read! I was consumed by the writing almost as much as the monster was power-hungry for control. Which is really saying something. First off, there is a trigger warning for detailed sexual assault, so if you are sensitive to this subject, please be cautious going into the story. With this book being written by two authors, it was surprising to find out how fluid the story felt while reading it. The chapters felt like the same mind poured them out on the pages. The writing style is commanding of your time and so easy to read, I couldn’t put this down until I realized it was 2:30 in the morning, and I had to be up in a few hours. This is a but that will draw you in and bring you into a whole new context. You feel the power and empathy from all the characters, and you can’t help but indulge in every word. But this book doesn’t just follow dark themes; it also contains horror elements that make you wonder if you should leave the lights on. This is a perfectly unique story that I highly recommend for the Halloween season without all the ghouls and goblins running around. Through the tough elements in the story to read, I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. The two sides to the story show a good versus evil, rich versus poor, love versus infatuation perspective while making your heart pound with emotion. You won’t stop reading until this ride is over.
Years ago, I read a book by Iain Banks called The Wasp Factory that I’ve never forgotten and I don’t mean that in a good way. The story of an extremely disturbed teenager, it’s filled with violence and perversity and it literally kept me up at night, hoping to find at least one redeeming factor in this boy or even a reason for the story itself. I suppose I have to say it’s a good book because it made a huge impression on me but I can think of better ways to get my attention. When I read the description of Death by the River, I really hoped this psychopath would be more tolerable than the one in that book. Fortunately, as psychopaths go, Beau is a lot less horrific than Frank was but that’s not to say he’s a pleasant guy to be around. He reminded me in a way of Ted Bundy with his charisma but, in Beau’s case, he has the rich, privileged background—and protection from others—that allows him to intimidate and bully his victims, feeding his narcissism. Beau has turned manipulation into a fine art and each episode of depravity just makes him want more. He’s a fascinating young man. Leslie and Dawn are not quite as vivid (because they’re normal teens) but I liked both for different reasons. Dawn, who seems to be kind of forgettable as the stereotypical high school cheerleader, turns out to have a lot more going for her than you might think and Leslie stands out as a girl who can’t be charmed by a handsome face. I did think the pacing of the story was a bit uneven but all was forgiven by an ending I definitely did not see coming. All in all, I’m glad I had the opportunity to read Death by the River and will be interested to read more by these authors.
So, I knew going in that golden boy, Beau Devareaux, was a cruel twist. Being a star football quarterback, dating a popular cheerleader and having a bright future waiting for him should have been his dream come true. Bit he had other dreams. Much darker ones. And then he dared to make one of those dreams come true. And then another. There was no turning back, even if he wanted to. Which he didn’t. Twin sisters, Dawn and Leslie, are both involved with Beau. Dawn dates him and thinks he hung the moon. Leslie sees through his mask. He stalks her, wanting the sister he can’t ever have. And Leslie wants her sister to open her eyes and see him for what he is. A story that could be ripped from the front pages can really get under my skin. It’s been said you can’t really know a person. You can’t recognize evil. Now that scares me. This was a bit slow in the beginning, but once Beau’s facade started to crumble it really picked up. And the ending. It’s one of those you won’t see coming. Twisted good.
DEATH THE BY RIVER by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor is a YA, stand alone, thriller that follows high school seniors (and twins) Leslie and Dawn Moore, and high school quarterback Beau Devereaux. WARNING: DEATH BY THE RIVER contains scenes of graphic violence and sexual abuse, and may not be suitable for all readers. Told from several third person perspectives including Leslie, Dawn and Beau DEATH BY THE RIVER follows the tumultuous relationship between high school seniors Leslie and Dawn Moore, and Beau Devereaux. Months earlier star quarterback and spoiled rich son of the town's largest employer, Beau Devereaux found himself attracted to sassy and mouthy Leslie Moore but her rejection sent him into the arms of her identical twin Dawn. Seeking revenge for Leslie's brush-off, Beau begins to make life miserable for his girlfriend's sister, while pushing forward with his plans to take what he wants, at all costs. DEATH BY THE RIVER is a startling, energetic and dramatic look at a psychopath in action. Long buried secrets come to the surface as Beau's violent tendencies leave broken bodies and broken souls in its' wake. There is only one way to stop Beau Devereaux but stopping Beau means, quite possibly, ending another life. DEATH BY THE RIVER has most of the hallmarks of a YA story line including jealousy; mean girls; cliques; rich vs poor; semi-oblivious parents ensconced in their own personal hells, as well as a high-school population terrorized by repeated abuse from one of their own. Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor pull the readers into a haunting nightmare of a psychotic mind. The premise is dark and powerful in its' presentation as the frenzy and hysteria begin to unfold.
Death by the River is a marvelously pulse-pounding, edge-of-your-seat dark adventure that is sure to delight, shock, and eviscerate your calm world. In one fell swoop, you find yourself ensnaring in the clutches of a burgeoning evil that is only just beginning to breathe and spread its wings. Nothing can prepare you for the ultimate thrill ride that you will find within these pages. If you think you know how it will end, I guarantee you that it won’t even come close to the climactic terror that will haunt you long afterwards. While this is not my typical choice of reading material, I have to say that it appealed to me in very different yet intriguing ways that my normal story could not easily touch. The poignant characters that you will find throughout this book are what you might expect and yet there is a thread of unpredictability that weaves its way into them and changes each one. Whether that change is good or bad is for you to decide, but I would caution those with particular sensitivity to be careful moving forward. You might not find what you want to see, but you will surely come across those things that will sour even the strongest of stomachs. What I loved about this story was the multi-faceted views that we were given from various key characters at pivotal times. You were able to get into their heads and find out more about them and how they perceived what was going on. This made the story that much richer and more horrifying. The depth is where you find the true heart of this masterpiece. You will either shiver in fear or find yourself enthralled by its addicting nature. Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor have created a phenomenal work of art! While this is not for every reader, it is crated with a tender touch and a meticulous eye to detail. This was a fabulous, one of a kind experience that rocked my world and yet challenged me to peer through the eyes of one that we have all encountered at one time or another. Life has it jagged edges, and this is one of those. Walk with caution, keep your heart pure, but above all, guard your emotions.
Death by the River will continue to haunt me. This psychological thriller left my nights tormented and my days filled with trepidation. This shocking YA masterpiece is not for the faint of heart. Despite that, or perhaps because if it, I could not put this book down. I had to know what made Beau tick. Some truths are better kept secret. Some secrets are better off dead. The blurb says is best, Beau Devereaux is an “American Psycho!” His twisted sense of self worth and penchant for pain oozes from the pages and leaves you feeling dirty for having shared space with him. He is the epitome of evil. This dark, twisted, thriller is quite the page turner from beginning to end. The ending (no spoilers) is poetic. Karma is a BITCH!
Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite Death by the River is a thrilling psychological work by author team Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor, aimed at young adults. Catching the current vogue of teen psycho and revenge tales like Bates Motel, Revenge and 13 Reasons Why, the anti-hero of the tale is the sadistic psychopath Beau Devereaux, a charming top-dog alpha male who abuses his thrall over others to exercise his thirst for evil. At the abandoned St. Francis Seminary on the riverbank, Beau enacts horrors that haunt the nightmares of his classmates. When he sets his sights on a brand new victim for his senior year, it becomes clear that there’s only one way to stop him – blood is paid for with blood. The only suggestion I’d make is that Death by the River contains such extreme acts of violence and gore that it perhaps ought to have an adult rather than young adult label. Other than that, I found it to be a horrifically brilliant book with a deep psychological connection to its killer. Beau Devereaux could have easily been a clichéd psycho, but the plot constructed around him and his development during the novel really shone as a masterpiece of character creation. In spite of everything, I still almost rooted for him and had sympathy in places, much in the style of Dexter or Hannibal. Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor do a fantastic job of setting a chilling scene with classic horror locations and authentic teen reactions to death and danger. Highly recommended, but definitely for adults.
Reviewed by Jessyca Garcia for Readers' Favorite Death by the River by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor is a dark page turner! The story is about a teenage psychopath boy who is used to getting his own way. On the outside he appears perfect. He comes from a good family, is a football star and has the perfect girlfriend. Inside he is ready to explode. He is trying to find something that can satisfy his rage. That something is his girlfriend's sister. Death by the River is NOT a book for everyone! There are rape scenes and a bit of violence. Other than that, I thought the story was good. I was never sure how things would turn out. I do not like predictable stories and this was for sure not one of those. There were parts I liked and did not like. I thought Beau meeting Andrea was too much of a coincidence. It seemed too perfect for him. The ending left me in a little bit of a shock, which I liked. I was not expecting things to turn out that way. However, I felt more could have been done as far as punishment for Beau. I thought he still got away with too much stuff. Dawn and Leslie were both very likable characters. I also wanted to know more about Derek's mom and Beau's father's relationship. Although this book is not for everyone, I think that Weis and Astor did a good job with it. I would like to read more of their work in the future.
Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite Death by the River by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor is a crime thriller with an exciting setting and compelling characters. Beau Devereaux is a star, and not just that, he is from a rich family and he is aware of it. He is the star quarterback of the football team, and that also fills his head. He is intelligent and charming but beneath the handsome demeanor is a monster that has grown over the years. He brings his victims to the abandoned Abbey and does horrible things to them. Recently, he has been fascinated by Leslie, the twin sister to Dawn, his girlfriend, and the more she pushes him away, the stronger is his resolve to have her. The number of his victims increases. Can someone stop Beau or will he succeed in having Leslie? Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor are great writers and from plot to setting to character, they display great storytelling skills, weaving a crime yarn that pulls readers into the twisted mind of the protagonist and holds them engaged till the exhilarating finish. I loved Leslie and Gage and the role they play in this story. The writers make sure they create a compelling character in Beau, a perfect reflection of a psychopath. For instance, he has a very sick idea of love: “To him, love meant possession, rage, power—not some fuzzy warm fairy tale.” The writing is flawless and the entire narrative stands out for its economy of words, the well-crafted and natural-sounding dialogues, and the masterfully handled conflict. Death by the River is psychologically engaging, emotionally rich, and utterly absorbing. A great read that equally explores life in a high school.
Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite Death by the River by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor is a suspenseful thriller with a strong appeal for fans of young adult fiction. Beau Devereaux is the only child of a powerful family. He is intelligent, handsome, and the star of the football team, a real darling of St. Benedict. But Beau is a psychopath who commits unspeakable crimes against victims along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River and succeeds in keeping them silent. While in senior year, he targets the stubborn twin of his girlfriend. He is determined to have Leslie as an ultimate prize, mindful of how much she hates him. Will things work as planned this time around or is there no one to stop him? While the story follows compelling characters, it also plunges readers into an intriguing setting. It is ironical that the horrors are taking place along the river that runs so close to what once was a religious establishment, one that should, in another setting, evoke a powerful sense of God and reverence for life. The characters are sophisticated and readers will learn to honestly hate the villain of the story — he is well imagined and developed with skill. In a subtle way, the authors allow his crooked mind to reveal itself. Like most serial killers, he is a charmer and an intelligent young man, but beneath the cool surface is a cauldron of simmering evil. Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor have written a riveting crime tale with strong psychological underpinnings. Death by the River is ingeniously plotted, written in gorgeous prose, and featuring a strong conflict that propels the narrative forward. The suspense intensifies as the story moves on, with the reader always feeling as though something awful could happen at any moment, and this feeling grows in intensity until the explosive climax. A real thriller!
Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite If you’re a young adult or older teen who prefers reading books to smart phone screens, and who really loves getting stuck into a story that will have you gripping the book tighter than your phone, snap up a copy of Death by the River by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor. What a gripping psychological thriller! Immerse yourself in the world of high school students about to graduate, students who love to party down by the river not far from the long abandoned Abbey with its gothic spires and basement cells, and where a ghostly woman in white floats through the corridors and dogs howl whenever death is in the wind. But it’s not the ghostly apparition or the dogs you have to worry about: it’s the handsome, rich Beau Devereaux, high school quarterback and the object of most girls’ dreams until they get to know the real Beau. Because his wealthy, controlling father demands it, Beau takes great pains to hide who he truly is from everyone: a narcissistic misogynist with rape and murder on his mind. If Beau has you in his sights, be wary, very wary. Beau’s current girlfriend is a pretty cheerleader called Dawn, but the girl he really wants is Dawn’s twin sister, Leslie, and he’s determined to have her. But Leslie wants nothing to do with him and wishes Dawn could see through him as she has. The story builds slowly, but never too slowly, to give readers time to get to know the key characters well, so that by the time all hell breaks loose near the ending, we are holding our breaths and hoping that the perp will get what he deserves before more women are severely hurt or die. Does Beau get what he deserves? Read Death by the River to find out. While the authors have written a chilling story here, there’s more to Death by the River than thrills. It’s actually a fascinating study into the effects of good and bad parenting on children. Do it badly and parents, children and society as a whole pay the consequences. This book is not just an exciting read; it’s a sobering one.