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Crossroad

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3.64  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  34 reviews
On a desolate road in the Oregon high desert, an apprentice mortician stumbles upon a horrific car crash--and into a vortex of treachery, long-buried secrets, and growing menace.

Melisende Dulac is a fish out of water after relocating from the East Coast to a small community in the Oregon high desert. But just as she's beginning to think of Barlow County as home, her life t
...more
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published December 10th 2019 by Crooked Lane Books
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  143 ratings  ·  34 reviews


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Matt
Nov 26, 2019 rated it liked it
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, W. H. Cameron, and Crooked Lane Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

New to the world of W. H. ‘Bill’ Cameron, I was not sure what to expect, but the dust jacket blurb had me wanting to uncover all the nuances of this book. After some troubling times in Boston, Melisende ‘Mel’ Dulac is given a generous opportunity by her estranged husband’s family. She travels to Oregon a
...more
Carolyn
2.5 stars rounded up to 3. After reading a synopsis of the book I thought it was a story which would appeal to me more than it did. There is much that I found positive. The plot was complex and gripping with some unforeseen twists. The abduction and chase near the end targeting the injured protagonist were frightening and raised the tension.

I did not care enough for the foul-mouthed mortician, Melisende, to be captivated by her fate. I found her to be frequently rude and impulsive. She didn't a
...more
Janine
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The overall story was very interesting. I think it dragged out a bit in the beginning, but I'm glad I stuck with it. The ending was satisfying, albeit a little bit crazy. I felt like it did take a little too long to get to Mel's backstory and what happened between her and her parents. I also never really felt like the backstory between her and Helene was adequately explained. It would have been nice to get some further detail on that.
Victoria Stone
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mellie Dulac, the reluctant hero of W.H. Cameron’s CROSSROAD, is prickly, anti-social, and a bit of a wreck, and I loved every second I spent with her.
Kari Dell
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Complex, compelling, intensely atmospheric, with masterful writing and gritty, unique characters. Though not a western per se, this book is set in rural central Oregon's high desert and will appeal to crime/mystery readers who enjoy the dark side of writers like Craig Johnson, CJ Box, and Nevada Barr. And if you like your humor on the morbid side, this is definitely in your wheelhouse.

(I was given an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.)
Tracy
Aug 20, 2020 rated it liked it
This story took a convoluted way to tell itself, but I was never "lost". I just wondered where we were going. I was on the verge of really liking Melisende, (love the name), but needed a couple more pieces of missing information to get there all the way. I liked the inclusion of Oregon history as the backstory. My dad lives in Montana, but I don't know much about it. I didn't even know there was desert in Oregon!
Kim
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense, mystery
Melisende is a woman who has been badly wronged by life. The victim of tragedy and bad choices, a final opportunity has landed her in rural Oregon as a mortician's apprentice. One night, she stumbles across a terrible accident that has claimed three lives. At first, it seems simple, but then the victims' bodies disappear. Over the following week, the mystery of their disappearance and the reason behind the accident are unraveled, unmasking secrets that would have remained undiscovered and killer ...more
Tatiana Maria
Jan 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
Maybe there's a story as good as the cover suggests if you get deeper into the book; unfortunately, I found the first two chapters remarkably unengaging and didn't love the writing, either.
Caitlyn Lynch
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller, crime
Melisande Dulac is just trying to build a life for herself after several disastrous wrong turns. Apprentice mortician might not be a job for everyone, but it’s a chance Melisande didn’t expect to get, and she’s determined to repay the faith shown in her. Only problem… well, there are a lot of problems, but a series of events which would seem to point the finger of blame squarely at her for a crime she doesn’t even understand leave her no choice. She has to try and figure out what’s really going ...more
ALAN BANKS
I really struggled with this book and to be quite frank I’m surprised I actually finished it. My main problem was I struggled to follow the plot line which was really complex and even after reading the book there are a lot of unanswered questions. There was also a lot of characters in this book and I found it really difficult to follow who was who.

I was not a big fan of the lead character’s personality and I’m sure you had to wait more than half of the book to get her backstory which did in a w
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Jim Thomsen
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
"I am anything but okay. Half the county thinks I'm a body snatcher, and the rest want to feed me to the coyotes over a rapist football player. When I'm not kicking babies, I'm a murderer on the lam. I've repaid everything Uncle Rémy and Aunt Elodie have done for me by jeopardizing the business they've devoted their lives to. I just spent the night in jail. The sheriff thinks I'm crazy. His chief deputy thinks I'm guilty. And the hell of it is, they're not wrong. What kind of dumb bitch takes ev ...more
Elaine A
As a fan of mysteries solved by complicated characters, it's tough to pinpoint what I enjoyed most about CROSSROAD.

Sure, Melisande, such a compelling (if inward-facing) character. Prickly in all ways, but with a tender emotional core buried deep, deep inside, a heart that's suffered more than one person's share of bruising. Or maybe the fact that, because I've spent so much time in Central Oregon's High Desert, it felt like I'd tumbled though the pages and landed in the stark beauty of the wilde
...more
Jan Weishaar
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it
The story was interesting, but the mystery was difficult to solve because some vital information wasn't given until late in the book. Then, after the mystery was solved, I wondered why the good guy didn't give Mel the real reason for his being there. Of course, since most of the characters were corrupt, confiding in any of them could be dangerous. There was a lot going on in this book, and I think that the character development suffered because of this. The book held my attention, and I wanted t ...more
Becky
Aug 21, 2020 rated it liked it
This book has all the earmarks of the first in a series: lots of background on and some alluring insight into a complex, troubled protagonist, lots of potentially interesting characters in a smallish, close-knit town with a history (Bend OR), a compelling setting that takes us from the stark beauty of the high desert to mountains and forests and running waters, a personal and professional situation for the protagonist that could put her (as a mortuary worker) in the way of many murders and perha ...more
C. Meadows
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
At first I thought this might be too gory, but it wasn’t. It’s a good mystery with thoughtful characters and the plot delves into hard truths of the past and even the present. Worth the time to read. C Meadows.
Erica
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
An atmospheric mystery full of rich characters and small town history. For fans of Jane Harper and The Current by Tim Johnson. ...more
Carolyn Rose
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Cameron has hit his stride with this race-to-the-crossing mystery/thriller. Okay, so occasionally the protagonist is her own worst enemy, but then most of us are at one time or another. So put that aside and keep reading.
Kathleen Kelley
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
I would rate this book as just okay for me. I'm not sure if the author is setting up to make this a series but I just felt like there were questions not answered or developed like what happened to her husband and what's the backstory between her and Helene. I was able to understand Melisende better once I knew her backstory. The mystery of what was going on was a bit confusing. There were quite a few characters, not really well developed so you didn't really have an interest in what happened to ...more
Noreen
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it
The main character showed much promise as an interesting character. She is an undertaker with a sad and questionable past and keeps getting involved with a local crime scene.
Christine
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good protagonist, and an interesting mystery. Well written and enjoyable.
Megan Forrest
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This mystery is one that will pull you in. The small-town setting, the mysterious local ghost legend and the question over what really happened at the crossroads will keep you intrigued right until the end. The plot is excellent and the setting is wonderful. Unfortunately, the characters make it more difficult. The main character, Melisende, is extremely unlikable. It is difficult to empathize with her and her awkward history. There seems to be no reason for her overly mysterious history - her b ...more
Laura (crofteereader)
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This one started out slow and then picked up and was going really well for a while (I practically tore through 40%-80%) but then it just got so messy. There was way too much happening, too many intersecting storylines, so much going on that it went from "unlikely but okay" to "downright impossible" as the revelations poured in.

Also, can we please please please retire the broken woman trope? Melisende was like... 20 maybe as old as 25 and she'd already 1) been married, 2) been dramatically left b
...more
John
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
CROSSROAD is a slyly appropriate title for W.H. Cameron’s latest mystery. It begins with a bang, at a traffic accident at an intersection, but the metaphor applies equally well to the main character, Melisende Dulac, a recent arrival to small-town Oregon. Melisende is at a crossroads herself, trying to put her life back together and unsure about working as an apprentice mortician. She will rub some readers the wrong way: she’s sometimes rude, she makes mistakes, and does things she shouldn’t, su ...more
Diane Hernandez
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Mellie’s working as an apprentice undertaker when she comes across a horrible automobile accident at a nearby Crossroad. Three people are dead, one is barely hanging on, and a newborn is found alive on the Oregonian desert floor. When the bodies disappear, Mellie is suspected. Mellie decides to investigate to clear her name.

There are enough plots here for a whole series of books. Mellie has quite a history that needs to be fleshed out. Troubled childhood, ghostly brother in her head, missing hus
...more
Alice Charron
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book never became compelling, except for a little toward the end. That is why I gave it 2 stars, instead of 1 star. The main reason I am posting the review is to let readers know there a many better books out there, such as Not A Sound by Heather Gudenkauf.
Sharon Grow
Dec 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Melisende Dulac Bouton’s husband, Geoffrey, is missing. With no place to go, she joins his family in Barlow County at their family mortuary. On the way to transport a recently deceased woman, Meli comes across a horrible accident involving several cars and victims. There is one adult survivor at the scene and in the field near the accident she finds a newborn baby. She transports the bodies to the morgue then later to the funeral home, only to find the bodies missing the next day. Where are the ...more
Jean A.
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I almost didn’t finish it

All the loose ends throughout this book, from start to finish, just about drove me crazy. The subtle hints about the problems which was causing all the angst in the protagonist never seemed to have an explanation and she was suffering mightily as a result. In addition, she wasn’t particularly likeable with her sarcastic attitude. But I won’t start a book and not finish it so I plugged on—and am so glad I did I. This book has a richly developed plot not easily figured out
...more
Zuzu Burford
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Melisende suffers from psychological trauma that makes for an interesting main character with a back story explaining her erratic behaviour and conversations Mel has with her deceased brother.
When the centre piece of a story is a mortuary, crooked cops, abandoned babies, a vehicle named the stiff and a printed t shirt with "take the fun out of funerals' prepare for the unexpected.
There are plenty of twists and turns to muddie the waters along the way with a great list of characters and a clever
...more
Nicole
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

An intriguing mystery in a unique setting. This is definitely the first novel I’ve read starring a mortuary assistant. Recommend!
Doug Yonce
A psychological thriller with excellent plot development and great settings. I felt it hard to empathize with the characters, however making it difficult for me to even care what happened. I received an advanced digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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W.H. Cameron is also known as Bill Cameron.

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