Veteran Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh’s first novel, Just East of Nowhere, is a delightful surprise. Published this past summer by Islandport Press in Maine, Just East… is a little too easily described as a ‘coming of age’ story, a genre I frankly dislike. But in Mr. Lehigh’s telling, this is more of a mystery, with a teen protagonist appealingly mature for his years already, returning to his home town of Eastport to bury his estranged mother, determined to get to the bottom of the sordid history attached to his convicted Navy veteran father.
In the process, he makes some enemies and discovers some unexpected allies. I don’t want to spoil the story which in the last third of the novel kicks into a higher gear of suspense. But the author’s crisp style and minimalist dialogue are beautifully consistent from first page to last.
Highly recommended, especially as we near the holiday gift season.