Diamond City | Critical Book Review

In Marianna Boncek’s “Diamond City,” readers are plunged into the murky waters of small-town intrigue, where rumors and secrets shape the fate of the unsuspecting inhabitants. Audrey Davis delves into the shadows cast by this Atmosphere Press novel, revealing a cautionary portrait of life in a tight-knit community.


Unraveling the Threads of Time

The narrative unfolds in the 1950s, introducing Arthur Moran, the unassuming police chief of a New York town. Tasked with solving the murder of a young girl from the secluded religious group, the Diamonds, Art finds himself entangled in a web of deception and personal ambition.

“‘A murder, Art. Have you investigated a murder? This isn’t like Paul Hickham’s cattle being stolen in the middle of the night. This isn’t Chris Boughman’s kid setting fires to abandoned barns…'”

As the case takes unexpected turns, Art’s choices jeopardize his relationships, leaving a trail of consequences. However, the murder case, initially gripping, fades into obscurity. Fast forward forty years, and the ghostly doors of the past creak open, forcing Art to reevaluate his understanding of the truth.


Literary Intrigue with a Drip-feed of Revelation

“Diamond City” artfully unfolds its mystery, offering readers only morsels of information as they become relevant. Marianna Boncek employs a slow but tantalizing approach, creating an atmosphere where every chapter leaves readers uncertain about the eventual outcome, compelling them to eagerly turn each page.

“He felt like a tree stripped of its bark, his fresh, green pith poking out with no protection.”


Evocative Descriptions and Emotional Resonance

The story is enriched by vivid descriptions that immerse readers in each moment, incorporating scents and sounds to paint a complete picture. Emotions are effortlessly conveyed through a variety of channels, be it thoughts, actions, or other nuances. The characters, confronting small-town expectations, showcase individualism against the backdrop of the town’s collective judgments.

“Art realized she knew. How she had found out, he couldn’t be sure, but she knew. He could tell by the way she moved around the kitchen, angry, betrayed.”


Characters: The Pillars of Diamond City

The novel’s strength lies in its well-developed characters. From the undertaker’s wife to the librarian and the cemetery groundskeeper, each character, no matter how briefly introduced, undergoes some form of growth. The less-than-2,000 populated town, where neighbors know each other by name, becomes a microcosm of judgment, snobbish attitudes, and casual racism, hindering Art’s quest for answers.

“It would only be a short matter of time before the tongues of Fosterdale would wag with speculation.”


Self-Discovery, Paranoia, and Tension

In Fosterdale, self-discovery, practicality, and trust are pivotal elements that shape the characters’ journeys. The novel’s pacing, coupled with palpable paranoia and tension, caters to fans of realistic fiction seeking a gripping and emotionally charged tale. Marianna Boncek’s “Diamond City” is a compelling exploration of human nature within the confines of a seemingly idyllic small town.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, and ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Atmosphere PressLiterary Fiction/Mystery416 pages9781639887880

In Marianna Boncek’s “Diamond City,” readers are plunged into the murky waters of small-town intrigue, where rumors and secrets shape the fate of the unsuspecting inhabitants. Audrey Davis delves into the shadows cast by this Atmosphere Press novel, revealing a cautionary portrait of life in a tight-knit community. Unraveling the Threads of Time The narrative…