Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Hell or High Water

Hell or High Water

A Novel

Nola Céspedes Novels (Volume 1)

Joy Castro

Thomas Dunne Books

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A psychological thriller in the vein of Kate Atkinson and Tana French that introduces Nola Céspedes, an intense and spellbinding protagonist


Nola Céspedes, an ambitious young reporter at the Times-Picayune, catches a break: An assignment to write her first full-length feature. While researching her story, she also becomes fixated on the search for a missing tourist in New Orleans. As Nola's work leads her into darker corners of the city, a singular narrative voice emerges, and an even more compelling question surfaces: Who is Nola Céspedes? Vividly rendered in razor sharp prose, this novel is a riveting journey of trust betrayed—and the courageous struggle toward recovery.

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year

EXCERPT

Cecily could find her way to the bathroom perfectly well by herself, thank you very much. She might have been only seven, but she could tie shoes, climb trees like a boy, and ride bikes through the leafy streets of their neighborhood back home in...

Reviews

Praise for Hell or High Water

“Castro's first mystery is fierce and intense, with both harrowing depictions of New Orleans after Katrina and psychological mayhem for its troubled heroine, who crawls under your skin and lingers there long after you've finished reading.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Exquisite New Orleans background, intriguing newsroom politics and atmosphere, a flawed but plucky heroine, and skillfully paced suspense makes this a ‘stay up way past your bedtime' read.” —Booklist, (starred)

“Readers who enjoy psychological thrillers will find this a fascinating look into an intriguing city. Nola is a feisty character...” —Library Journal

“A terrific mystery, but Hell or High Water is more than just a mystery; it's a heartfelt examination of a second America--poor but undaunted--that was swept under the rug but refuses to stay there . . . I can't wait to see what Joy Castro does next.” —Dennis Lehane, New York Times bestselling author of Mystic River

Hell or High Water is a tightly written thriller. Nola's first-person perspective and her witty, often cutting dialogue will make the reader believe in the character and really care for her and what happens to her. . . . Like the city for which she was named, Nola is damaged yet unbeaten. . . . an exciting, incisive novel.” —El Paso Times

Hell or High Water is so thick and rich with authentic New Orleans details that you'll be wiping sweat off your brow and smelling the crawfish étouffée. Joy Castro has crafted a complex, conflicted, and hauntingly real heroine with Nola Céspedes. Shackled to her past and to New Orleans, Castro's Nola reminded me of Pat Conroy's Tom Wingo and the Outer Banks in Prince of Tides. ” —Alex Kava, New York Times bestselling author of The Maggie O'Dell series, Whitewash and One False Move

“In the tradition of P.D. James, Ruth Rendell and Lucha Corpi, Joy Castro shows how mystery can be much more than the unraveling of crimes concealed. An irresistible and compelling novel.” —Lorraine M. López, author of Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories

In the Press

Read the Kirkus Review of HELL OR HIGH WATER . Salvaging lives in post-Katrina New Orleans is no picnic. - Kirkus Reviews

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About the author

Joy Castro

Joy Castro teaches literature at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Her 2005 memoir, The Truth Book was elected an ABA Book Sense Notable Book.

Joy Castro

Nicky Martinez

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