disclaimer – i was provided an e-galley of this book by gallery books in exchange for an honest review.
i sat down with the heavens rise expecting to read a couple of chapters and then accomplish a few other things on my to-do list. a little over four hours later, i finished the book. chilling in all the right ways, christopher rice‘s newest novel is subtly off-putting in exactly the way you want a good supernatural thriller to be, and it sweeps you along starting with the very first chapter.
nikki delongpre and ben broyard are best friends. nikki and anthem landry are dating. and marshall ferriot? marshall doesn’t like nikki having either of those two connections, especially the boyfriend. and after manipulating a fight between nikki and anthem into a huge breakup, marshall moves in on nikki; his “courtship” doesn’t end the way marshall would like when they’re both infected by a bayou parasite during his assault on nikki. told during the present and in flashbacks, the repercussions of marshall’s assault will ripple out through the years with horrifying results for everyone involved.
the heavens rise is set in both pre- and post-hurricane louisiana but that’s not what gives it such resonance. the writing is crisp almost to the point of brusqueness and rice doesn’t waste a word on unneeded flourishes. every chapter draws you farther in and drives you toward an unforgettable confrontation between the triangle of friendship and love that is nikki, ben, and anthem and the malevolence that is marshall.
four out of five stars