Praise for The Girl From Blind River:
"Massey’s immersive tale of a young woman navigating a hardscrabble life will drop readers straight into Blind River, a town filled with bad choices and even worse characters. ...Often-piercing language is a bonus, as are the nail-biting poker games whose play-by-plays are drawn out to satisfying effect. Readers who enjoy Wiley Cash and Willy Vlautin should try this notable debut."
"Massey’s debut novel manages to be both poetic and propulsive, unfolding a familiar story of the long odds against redemption posed by family dysfunction with power and grace.”
"Gale Massey peppers the text with authentic, chilling details: the texture of a marked card, the exhaustion of digging a hidden grave. From corpses to counting cards, Blind River plays it close and smooth."
—Foreward Reviews’ starred review
"Massey’s prose is paired down, vivid, and at times lyrical, reminiscent of Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone, and her pacing is breathless...In a family as toxic as the Elders, Jamie’s intelligence, grit, and compassion for her gay brother suggest what a family should be, not a hostile patriarchy, but a place of acceptance and freedom."
"Crisply paced and stacked with surprises, Massey’s The Girl From Blind River is an impressive debut."
—The Tampa Bay Times
"The author’s authoritative, powerful prose and knack for dialogue—especially when dealing with emotions and violence—are more indicative of a seasoned veteran rather than a debut author. This is great news because it means there is much more to come from Massey, and if The Girl from Blind River is any indication, it will be great."
"Occasionally, debuts come along that are so tightly-plotted and strongly-written that it is hard to believe they are first novels...but in an embarrassment of riches, Gale Massey manages to provide so much more. This is a writer in charge of every word and phrase, able to seduce readers, keeping them under her spell for the duration."
"A fast-paced, impressive debut...Massey does a terrific job of amping up the tension."
—Midwest Book Review
"With this dazzling debut, Gale Massey arrives as a rare talent, a writer’s writer who should be read by the masses. The Girl From Blind River is a swift and thrilling story anchored by compelling characters and scored by graceful prose. The novel is both timeless and timely, and is sure to be one of the must-reads of 2018."
—Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author
“A knockout debut novel...Lyrical and unflinching, The Girl from Blind River grabs you on page one and never lets go."
—Ann Hood, bestselling author of The Book That Matters Most
"Smart, sharp and fast, Gale Massey’s thriller ratchets up the action, making the reader lean forward till the turn of her last card."
— Stewart O’Nan, award-winning author of The Odds
"A riveting page turner...Jamie Elders—all odds against her—is a heroine you will never forget."
— Jill McCorkle, New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life
“The Girl From Blind River is a part coming-of-age, part redemption story with a razor sharp edge...The plot is twisted and the prose nuanced and graceful, but it’s the characters that stick with you...Stellar debut!"
—Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of The Blackbird Season
"One of the most impressive debut novels that has ever come my way. Taut and vivid, it is beautifully textured and it announces the arrival of a very special writer whose work I expect to read for many years...A gem.”
—Steve Yarbrough, PEN/Faulkner Award-Nominated Author
"A fast-paced, impressive debut. In a gritty, yet poetic voice, Massey introduces us to the unforgettable Jamie Elders, a young woman desperate to escape her past but unwilling to leave it behind. From an exciting new author to watch, this debut is a definite addition to your 2018 must-read list."
—Lori Roy, award-winning author of The Disappearing
“A tale you won’t forget.”
—Sterling Watson, award-winning author of Suitcase City
"A pitch-perfect page turner...Combining the beautiful prose of Daniel Woodrell with Sarah Waters’ keen eye for dramatic tension, Massey has delivered a debut novel that will leave you breathless, exhausted, and, as with any great writer, hungry for more."
―Nick White, author of How to Survive a Summer
A young woman whose broken family amounts to at least two strikes against her struggles to survive and protect her kid brother before she's overwhelmed by a rising tide of small-town criminal conspiracy.Everybody in Blind River knows who Jamie Elders is. She's the 19-year-old whose father died years ago in a barroom fight; the girl whose mother, Phoebe, takes the morning shift at the local diner now that she's been released from prison after eight years; the girl who was left along with her brother, Toby, in the custody of her Uncle Loyal when it became clear that serving her sentence didn't qualify Phoebe Elders any better for motherhood. The one thing they don't know is how successful Jamie's been at online poker, a gift she hopes will lift her out of upstate New York and allow her to live in Florida. But when she overreaches on the strength of a substantial pot she's won, she ends up even deeper than usual in Loyal's debt, and he's quick to call in the marker when he needs help moving an inconvenient corpse from the home of Judge Jefferson William Keating to places unknown. Horrified at what she's already done, at the ease with which Toby is sucked into the maelstrom, and at what worse possibilities lurk just around the corner, Jamie knows she can't trust her mother or brother or uncle—or Jack DelMar, the longtime partner in Loyal's financial shenanigans, or suspicious local cop Carl Garcia, or least of all Keating, the law in Blind River. The best she can do is trust her own instincts and her tactical cunning and her feral will to survive, the only worthwhile legacy she's ever inherited from the Elders family.Massey's debut novel manages to be both poetic and propulsive, unfolding a familiar story of the long odds against redemption posed by family dysfunction with power and grace.