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Grist Mill Road

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  8,201 ratings  ·  1,306 reviews
Twenty-six years ago Hannah had her eye shot out. Now she wants justice. But is she blind to the truth?

Christopher J. Yates’s cult hit Black Chalk introduced that rare writerly talent: a literary writer who could write a plot with the intricacy of a brilliant mental puzzle, and with characters so absorbing that readers are immediately gripped. Yates’s new book does not dis
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by Picador USA
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Popular Answered Questions
Lora Martischnig Peck I wondered the same thing. It drives me CRAZY!

However, I googled it 'just to see':

Can't say that I agree tho…more
I wondered the same thing. It drives me CRAZY!

However, I googled it 'just to see':

Can't say that I agree though. If, as an author, you are trying to go for a more uninterrupted flow, then making the reader having to constantly go back and re-read isn't accomplishing that goal.

Just my opinion, of course. (less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Stephanie I think Patch did kill Matthew and that the detective killed Patch. Patch claimed to be a better shot and he'd never recovered from the trauma of the …moreI think Patch did kill Matthew and that the detective killed Patch. Patch claimed to be a better shot and he'd never recovered from the trauma of the event he'd witnessed. Furthermore he and his wife never discussed it (weird). By the end he was a psychological mess. He even said she saved him and that he would never try to kill himself again, so he tried to save her and got his wish to end it too (suicide by cop). (less)

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Average rating 3.41  · 
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Emily May
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read this entire book but, right from start until finish, I just could not get into it.

Perhaps this kind of thriller does not mix well with literary fiction for me. There were many things about Grist Mill Road that reminded me of the tone and style of American Psycho (which I get will seem like a huge compliment to many readers). Their narratives are both cold, distant and detached. Grisly things happen in horrific detail but there is no emotional attachment to them.

As seems to be the case wit
Christopher Yates writes a intelligent and multilayered dark literary thriller. It begins in 1982 with three teenagers go out on a hot summer day in the Swangum Mountains where a nightmare of a violent scenario develops that leaves the reader reeling in horror. Matthew and Patrick (Patch) are with Hannah, this incident is to bond the three together with deep ramifications that shape them and their future. One is left blind in one eye and another ends up in prison. They are in their forties in Ne ...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
When my book bestie five starred this sucker I knew it would probably be one I wouldn't take four weeks to read. It only took me one!

Now I gotta admit. When I first started reading it I thought Kelly had bumped her head on one of Mitchell's tusks.
It was boring as heck!

It starts off with a first chapter of super evil stuff and then turns into a looooonnng description of food blogging and a damn cement company's history.

And I LIKE the food blogging thing! That's bad when I was bored at som
What should have been a fun outing for three young teens, quickly turns tragic. Leaving all three with lifelong scars that each need to deal with in their own way. Years later, their paths will cross one more time. Will tragedy strike twice or will they all find the truth and closure they so desperately need.

This book started off very strong. Great story...great characters, with the potential to be an amazing read. Unfortunately, somewhere around the halfway mark it just, well…I’m not sure w
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pagehabit
The reality is there are more than two sides to most stories. Truth is seldom a lens, truth is a kaleidoscope.

the opening scene in this book is beyond rough: thirteen-year-old hannah is tied to a tree and shot with a bb gun by an older boy named matthew - shot repeatedly and in great detail - the 49th turning her eye into a dark smashed plum. this transpires while patch, the youngest of the three, watches in silence. when hannah’s screams stop abruptly after the ruination of her eye, they poke a

The opening scene in Grist Mill Road is the stuff of which nightmares are formed. Three young teens in a brutal, savage act that goes beyond all measure of comprehension. One will lose an eye and live with those nightmares forever. One will live with the guilt of doing, saying nothing and one will go to jail for the crime. Their lives are indelibly linked by the crime and by the lies that they told to themselves and others that day.

Grist Mill Road is split into two timelines: the early 80's sur
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3.5 stars.

This story revolves around Patrick, Matthew and Hannah. Twenty-six years ago, as high school classmates, they were part of a gruesome crime that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. Two decades after the brutal incident, the three are reunited when pieces of the unexplained crime start to come together. They begin to find answers to questions that have long burned in their minds.

The opening scene in this novel is highly disturbing. It grabbed my attention in an unsettling way,
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
3.75 original, slow-building stars to Grist Mill Road! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.75

Grist Mill Road engaged me from the start. I found it genre-bending at first and didn’t quite know what it was. I’ve settled on thinking it was descriptive literary fiction with a mystery. I had such high hopes based on how it started. The three people involved in this incident each had a voice, and we first heard from them in the 1980s when the event happened, and then again, 20 years later, when their lives intersected again. In
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
A story of how scars suffered in childhood never really go away.  It may be a physical scar, plainly visible for a lifetime.  Emotional and psychological scarring can be harder to detect, hidden like a dangerous secret.  Lying in wait, temporarily dormant.  Those secrets are laid bare here, impacting lives that have already suffered losses.  This one is deliciously dark, and disturbing in its ramifications.  '. . . the story of a girl and a boy and a BB gun . . .' ...more
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received a free advanced copy of Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates for my honest review.

An extremely intense and mesmerizing thriller that pulls you in on it's very first page. This book is a story of three teenagers who are all involved in a crime and how each of them viewed the crime, in their own mind, what they saw or what they think they saw and what really happened. The story is told from their past and their future and how this crime changed who they are now and what their actions
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
2.5 stars

The year is 1982. Matthew, Patrick (Patch), and Hannah, are young teenagers when a horrible crime is committed, one that leaves them all devastated.

Decades later, in 2008, the three are adults and the stories of their lives unfold for us, all colored by the misperceptions and lies that have been told about that long ago day in 1982. None of the 3 have escaped unscathed. It’s a complicated story, but when the truth was finally revealed, I was disappointed. If the author wanted to create
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“This story you’re reading once started out as a perfectly ordinary, everyday tale. Until, very suddenly, it wasn’t. This is how it went.”

Grist Mill Road should have been included in my “Best Of” yearly wrap up for 2017. EDIT: Fuck it. I’m adding it. The part that sucks is, this is one of those tales where the less said, the better. I’ll let the book do the talking and you can see if it might be something that would tickle your fan
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
I started off lost in the brushy, woody lush coulee reading Grist Mill Road with two of my Traveling Sisters and we ended up in the thorny woody rocky coulee looking for a way out.

Grist Mill Road is a dark, complex story of secrets, deceit, and misunderstandings that started off with a bang for us and shocking us with the brutal crime committed by one character Matthew towards Hannah while Patch watched and didn’t intervene. We were drawn in right away to the mystery of the crime and what really
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, mystery
4.5 stars
If you like dark mysteries, this one is for you!

Imagine the early 1980's as a teenager, riding around and exploring on your bike with your friends, just on the cusp of adulthood. Life is good, until a horrible crime takes place and shatters everything you know. One friend loses an eye, another pays the price in prison, and one tries to pretend it never happened.

Now skip ahead 26 years later, and imagine 2 of these friends have somehow ended up married, and the 3rd has just resurfaced in
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
4 sad stars

A lie can have many tentacles. It can reach out in so many directions, affect so many people, change so many lives. A lie that is left to smolder never being refuted or put to right can not only damage the teller but also all those the lie can include. “Lies and secrets, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.”

Matthew, Patrick, and Hannah are friends. They go to school together, have time spent together and yet all the wonderfu
Humans are flawed and complex. We make decisions that both heal and harm, and are full of consequence. But because we are so multifaceted, it is rare that a wrong is committed without an antecedent. There is no truer example of the domino effect than human behavior. There is always something that prompts internal emotion and thought within us which ultimately leads to how we choose to externally direct it. Yes, ultimately behavior is a choice, but there is a whole stack of disheveled playin
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
You can read all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine.

If you’re a friend or follower on here on Goodreads, you may have seen my status update at page 108:
“The jury is still out on this one. I’m not a fan of omitting quotation marks and it’s moving a little slowly.”

And this one at page 163:
“Okay, now I’m hooked.”

A brief status update at the end of the book would have looked something like this:
“Huh? What the heck?”

And that pretty much sums it up. Grist Mill Road started out slowly. Everything seeme
Janelle Janson
GRIST MILL ROAD by Christopher J. Yates- Thank you so much to Picador for sending me an advance copy - all opinions are my own.

The Rashomon film style is known for a plot device that involves various characters providing subjective, alternative, self-serving and contradictory versions of the same incident.

In this novel, the story is divided into three parts. The main characters, Patch, Hannah, and Matthew, all share their own accounts of a horrific crime that took place in 1982 and how they co
⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

Disclaimer: Grist Mill Road starts out with a couple of very disturbing scenes, and this book definitely isn't for the faint of heart.

The book is told from multiple viewpoints (which I love!); mostly Patrick (also known as Patch when he is younger), Hannah, and towards the end Matthew. On one hand I really liked getting all sides of the stories, but I ended up skimming a bit of Matthew - more on that later. The book jumps between the past - 1982 - and present time which is New York in
Joey R.
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars —- I read “Grist Mill Road” after reading a very positive review of the book in Entertainment Weekly magazine. After reading this book, I am conflicted about how much I liked it. On the positive side, the book is well written as far as character development and has a very suspenseful plot. The book centers around a crime in which 14 year old Matthew ties up and shoots his friend/girlfriend Hannah with a BB gun 50 times while his friend Patrick looks on. Hannah loses her eye as a result ...more
Liz Barnsley
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Now I was a HUGE fan of Black Chalk, the first novel from this author that I read moons ago now – it was a work of literary genius, a puzzle piece of sheer reading joy, so to say that I was both excited and somewhat apprehensive to read Grist Mill Road is perhaps an understatement.

Turns out Black Chalk was not a one off in the quality sense – Grist Mill Road is a twisted and intelligent tale of three friends and the actions that tie them together – once more the author plays with your perception
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family-saga
I enjoyed the first half of this book and the latter half.

The beginning after laying the ground work and going back in time when the boys were young then up to date when they were older kept me focused. I was invested in this. No problem.

The scars that were left over that they each did penance for in their own was was very well documented and fabulously written.

But then it stemmed to dip in the middle where I was finding it hard to focus but, I pressed on.

I’m so glad I did as I ended up liking
Sean Gibson
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ll say this for Christopher Yates: he knows his way around some twisty (and twisted) storytelling. Unreliable narrators, shifting perspectives, lies of omission…all make for a delightfully tangled tale of tragedy, in which three lives are irrevocably altered by one teenage incident in which none of the participants are innocent, but in which the apparently guiltiest party might be the most sympathetic. He also writes some mouth-watering food descriptions, which is weird in the context of a boo ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates was a very dark and disturbing story. It stared with three youngsters in the wood and a horrific scene of torture. We then learn about those peoples lives 26 years later. I found this book very confusing and did not enjoy it because of this. I would like to thank NetGalley and Headline for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
In 1982, Matthew, Patrick, and Hannah are linked together through a terrible crime. Twenty-six years later, they reconnect.

A dark story told with two timelines, 1982 and 2008. Each chapter was about a main character (Matthew, Patrick, or Hannah), though some were told in first person point of view and others were third person. The back and forth between timelines, characters, and points of view slowed the pace of the story.

The first chapter in the book tells the tragic crime that occurred in th
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This has been touted as one of the best thrillers of the year and feaured on the January 2018 Indie Next list. Although I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would, it was a great read nonetheless, I will be putting "Black Chalk" Yates' cult hit onto my TBR pile.

What I liked about "Grist Mill Road" is that it is an intelligent thriller that really makes you think. With a multitude of different strands that are woven together seamlessly, the plot keeps you interested in what the outcome or fin
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, reviewed
In 1982 in a small upstate New York town, teenaged Matthew, Patrick and Hannah were spending a pleasant summer day together. The day ended in an horrific act of violence. In 2008 in New York City the lives of the three converge again. The story is told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of the three protagonists and slips back and forth between the two critical years. It's not really possible to describe anything that happens in this book without spoiling it.

The story is definitely n
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I absolutely LOVED Grist Mill Road by Christopher Yates. I have not read anything from him before but will most definitely be looking out for his future books. I started this yesterday and finished this morning. I could NOT stop reading it. I actually had this one for awhile from Netgalley but I’m not sure what kept me from wanting to read it. The story is told in three parts where you will get the 3 main characters perspective. Grist Mill Road is told in past and present. The story was int ...more
Crime by the Book
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5/5 stars for this outstanding read. Find my full review here:

GRIST MILL ROAD is an immersive and harrowing crime novel that’s perfect for readers looking for a gripping psychological suspense story with a literary bent. I loved the book’s unique structure, layered plotting, and tragic characters. My one caution: this book deals with difficult topics (abuse, bigotry) in a very blunt way, so just proceed with caution if those topics are difficult for you
Julie (JuJu)
Told in the past and present, centered around a vicious event that involves three teenagers, the story starts out very gruesome. The author isn’t shy about describing the grizzly details of the incident, so beware if you can’t stomach graphic details.

One of the main characters has a cooking blog and talks about cooking a lot...and I mean a lot! Another character adds a considerable amount of rock formation facts. While they were interesting, I didn’t intend to take a geology lesson, lol. I felt
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Christopher J. Yates was born and raised in Kent and studied law at Oxford University before working as a puzzle editor in London. He now lives in New York City with his wife and dog.

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