Grist Mill Road

Grist Mill Road

A Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:

An Entertainment Weekly "Must Read" * One of the NPR Book Concierge's "Best Books of the Year"
"Twisty and told from multiple perspectives, this meaty thriller races to a satisfying finish." -- People magazine

"The intensity of the storytelling is exhilarating and unsettling." -- Booklist (starred review)

Twenty-six years ago Hannah had her eye shot out. Now she wants justice. But is she blind to the truth?

"Arresting...Twisting backward and forward in time, entering the minds of each character in turn, Yates examines both how they reached this point and what happens years later, when the past wreaks havoc on the present....[A] sophisticated...elegant narrative." -- The New York Times

"The plot is darkly, intricately layered, full of pitfalls and switchbacks, smart and funny and moving and merciless." --Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of In the Woods and The Trespasser

"Dark, intense, and disturbing...Highly recommended." --Krysten Ritter, author of Bonfire

"Two of life's delicious pleasures--gourmet delectations and a sinister, plot-twisty tale--come together in this intelligent thriller."

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 disappoint. Grist Mill Road is a dark, twisted, and expertly plotted Rashomon-style tale. The year is 1982; the setting, an Edenic hamlet some ninety miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends--Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah--are bound together by a terrible and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty-six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves never could have predicted, the three meet again--with even more devastating results.

Publisher: New York :, Picador,, ©2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250150288
Branch Call Number: FICTION YAT
Characteristics: 342 pages ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Feb 07, 2020

The characters and their actions, especially Hannah's, are just not believable.

Nov 10, 2019

I do not usually choose mysteries. I chose this based on the information on the back cover. It was slightly disturbing but kept my interest so I finished it fairly quickly. I do not want to give anything away but I enjoyed it and coincidentally my father read it before I did and he suggested it to me at the same time I was already reading it.

What happens in the first chapter is so striking, so disturbing, and so breathtaking; I wanted to put the book down but simply had to keep reading to know what in the world was happening. This book is an emotional roller coaster, but definitely worth the read.

Apr 13, 2019

The story was good and the characters, but they all yammered on and on with endless detail. I could see why one would, but everyone? It got confusing at times when Matthew wrote letters. I thought it was to a certain person, but then he talked about that person like he was a third character. Maybe I'm just not that into complex..give me straightforward. I read to relax.

Dec 28, 2018

Stars: ⭐⭐⭐

Unique drama.

When Matthew, Patrick and Hannah were in their early teens, a terrible crime took place...who played the role of villain? Innocent bystander? Helpless victim? Or were any of these roles as clear cut as they seemed at the time?

Fast forward about 25 years and we see where Matthew, Patrick and Hannah have ended up. It’s inevitable that the past will arise and what happened that afternoon long ago will at last become clear.

Pros: Creative and smart.

Cons: Lots and lots of details that just did not feel relevant to the story...and a huge unexplained detail at the end…

Unfortunately I wasn’t a big fan of this one.

3 stars

ArapahoeKathy Nov 29, 2018

If you like complex psychological thrillers "Grist Mill Road" will not disappoint. Steadily through the book the twisted mystery is untangled. What shocks us is the suffering and destruction in the lives of regular people.

Oct 02, 2018

I doubt I could write a better book review of ‘Grist Mill Road’ than Sarah Lyall has.
Please see attached:

ArapahoeAnnaL Jun 05, 2018

Gets better and better as you learn more about the characters! The details of the characters' lives draw you in and create understanding and sympathy. "A sophisticated... elegant narrative." - The New York Times

May 20, 2018

This was a complex smart thriller, at least for the first half of the book. The second half was a bit bogged down and my enthusiasm dropped.

Mar 03, 2018

The first half was easy reading and I had my doubts. However, the second half of the story picked up the pace and it was hard to put down. It's not about the story but rather about how the characters deal with their past - coming of age with angry parents, confused sexuality. The author even injects wry wit in unexpected placed. This book was just the break I needed from a few heavy reads.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top