THE BOUNDARIES WE CROSS is a twist-filled did-he-or-didn’t-he thriller about a teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student, a young woman who then disappears under suspicious circumstances.

by Brad Parks
Oceanview Press, 2024
(via The Martell Agency)

Charles Bliss, raised by a single mother in a hardscrabble Maine fishing town, is a highly respected and much appreciated English teacher at Carrington Academy, an elite Connecticut prep school, from which he graduated some years ago as a scholarship student. Recently, Charles’s highly touted debut novel debut unexpectedly bombed, so he is grateful for his job at Carrington, while working feverishly on a new manuscript by night to capture the literary glory that was almost his.

Among his children-of-the-extremely-rich students is Hayley Goodloe, heiress to a massive fortune, who clearly is developing a crush on him. Happily married Charles is careful to maintain proper boundaries with Hayley, leaving no room for suspicion. So he is shocked to his core when the principal confronts him with an accusation of an affair with Hayley and demands his resignation. And when Hayley soon turns up missing, Charles’s world is turned upside down, with the police and DA targeting him as the likely kidnapper. Who can he trust? His loyal wife Emily, his best friend Leo, his new fast-talking criminal defense attorney Jerry and the reliability of his own memory are all in the mix as Charles desperately tries to prove his innocence amidst damaging evidence that somehow keeps piling up against him.

Filled with memorable characters, this is a wonderfully clever, involving thriller that expertly deploys the Hitchcockian pivot of the “innocent man” in fresh, surprising ways.

International bestselling author Brad Parks is the only writer to have won the Shamus, Nero, and Lefty Awards, three of American crime fiction’s most prestigious prizes. His novels, including Unthinkable, Interference, Say Nothing, Closer Than You Know and The Last Act have been published in fifteen languages and have won critical acclaim across the globe, including stars from every major prepublication review outlet.

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