Island educator pens suspenseful thriller

Warren Read, a Bainbridge-based author (as well as assistant principal of both Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School and Ordway Elementary School) will visit Eagle Harbor Book Company at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 22 to discuss his new book, “Ash Falls.”

The novel, a suspenseful psychological thriller, is already receiving rave reviews. In it, a routine prisoner transfer on a rural highway ends with the bus upside down in a ravine, the driver dead of a heart attack and convicted murderer Ernie Luntz on the loose, his eyes fixed on the mountain range in the distance, and farther beyond, his hometown of Ash Falls.

Set in a moss-draped, Pacific Northwest mountain town, “Ash Falls” is the story of a closely connected community both held together and torn apart by one man’s single act of horrific violence. As the residents of Ash Falls — which include Ernie’s ex-wife and teenage son — wait on edge, wondering if and when Luntz will reappear, they come to discover that they are held prisoner not by the killer in the woods outside their town, but by the chains of their own creation.

A tension-filled, multi-character exploration of collapsed relationships, carefully guarded secrets and the psychological strain of living in a place that is at once both idyllic and crippling, “Ash Falls” is a picturesque and haunting novel.

Read is also the author of a 2008 memoir “The Lyncher in Me” (Borealis Books), about his discovery that his great-grandfather had incited a lynching in 1920. His fiction has been published in Hot Metal Bridge, Mud Season Review, Sliver of Stone, Inklette, Switchback and The Drowning Gull. In addition, he has had two short plays directed and produced by Tony Award-winner Dinah Manoff.