Author: Bryce Gibson
Summer in South Carolina—a time of ripe peaches, crackling bonfires, trips to the lake, and the rural legend of a creature known as the Lizard Man. This year, a very real monster is lurking about. The victims all have one thing in common—they share their names with plants. Soon it becomes apparent that seventeen-year-olds Dusty Miller and Nandina Bush may be next on the killer’s list.
“That was when I realized that the red I saw in the driveway wasn’t blood. It was a scattering of rose petals. Deep down, I knew, right at that very moment, that what all of us had been afraid of for the past several months had already happened. The serial killer had finally made his way to Crow County.” – Dusty Miller
Perennials is a beautifully written serial killer thriller. It has twinges of horror and mystery which all intertwine to become a very original piece of work. Bryce Gibson knows how to create not only a surprising plot, but he also knows how to add art to the crimes committed in the novel. All good crime novels have an element of art to them, and Perennials more than succeeds in terms of that necessity.
Even though this novel is meant to be a young adult novel, it does not talk down to its reader. It doesn’t sugarcoat the story to be seemingly more appropriate for its audience, and that is what I loved about it. It is brutal but written in clean language, proving that stories of crime do not need to be overly gruesome or cringe worthy. Perennials is a perfect novel to introduce children to the crime genre, while also allowing seasoned crime readers to enjoy its story as well.
Gibson knew what he was doing when naming all of the victims after plants, and he pulled off an incredible move by naming them after plants that are not very well known. This made the victims not as obvious, and it connected all of them together in a web. Perennials read as though it were an extensively planned story, and there were no inconsistencies. I have not read a crime novel recently that pulled off a plot as well as Perennials did, and I tore right through it.
Gibson is clearly one of our better crime novels in the indie genre. He has all of the artistic and systematic elements of a talented crime author, and I hope he continues to write.
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