This week’s staff pick, American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett, is an eerie tale about a perfect town. Wink, New Mexico is full of immaculately groomed lawns, quiet streets, perfect houses, smiling faces, and no crime to speak of, but there are places in Wink that you just don’t go, things you just don’t do, and thoughts you aren’t allowed to think. There are secrets hidden behind the pristine walls and picturesque homes and the Mesa it sits beneath, home to an abandoned research facility, casts a long and deep shadow on the denizens of Wink. This is story about the familiar turned strange and Bennett, a relatively newcomer, absolutely nails a blend of tension, excitement and terror.
Some places are too good to be true.
Under a pink moon, there is a perfect little town not found on any map.
In that town, there are quiet streets lined with pretty houses, houses that conceal the strangest things.
After a couple years of hard traveling, ex-cop Mona Bright inherits her long-dead mother’s home in Wink, New Mexico. And the closer Mona gets to her mother’s past, the more she understands that the people of Wink are very, very different …
From one of our most talented and original new literary voices comes the next great American supernatural novel: a work that explores the dark dimensions of the hometowns and the neighbors we thought we knew.