Parnassus Books welcomes Tim Johnston for his new book The Current.
In the dead of winter, outside a small Minnesota town, state troopers pull two young women and their automobile from the icy Black Root River. One is pronounced dead at the scene, while the other, Audrey Sutter, daughter of the town’s retired sheriff, survives. What happened was no accident, and news of the crime awakens memories of another young woman who lost her life in the same river ten years prior, and whose killer may still be among them. Determined to find answers, Audrey soon realizes that she is connected to that earlier unsolved murder by more than just a river. And as she plungers deeper into her own investigation, she begins to unearth long hidden secrets and stoke the violence simmering just below the surface of her hometown.
This hauntingly beautiful novel wraps elements of the conventional thriller with emotional depth and visceral intensity, unfolding in an elegant literary narrative. When describing the novel, Johnston says, “The Current may differ from other ‘literary suspense/crime’ novels in that it does not always offer absolute certainty or resolution or justice; nor does it race toward an ultimate confrontation between protagonist and antagonist. Instead it moves in and out of time, in and out of families, building on the wounds and obsessions of characters who, while not villains themselves, do not always act nobly or even legally. The individual currents of characters barely known to each other combine through chance and history into a single current of loss, but also love.”
In addition to Descent, Tim Johnston is the author of the story collection Irish Girl, and the young adult novel Never So Green. Irish Girl won the 2009 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. Johnston’s stories have also appeared in New England Review, New Letters, the Iowa Review, the Missouri Review, DoubleTake, Best Life Magazine, and Narrative Magazine, among others. He holds degrees from the University of Iowa and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and lives in Iowa City.