City Under One Roof
by Iris Yamashita
Release date: January 10th, 2023
… Very atmospheric with a cast of quirky dynamic characters, and a twisty plot, this book, definitely unique …
Local teenager Amy Lin discovers a severed hand and foot washed up on the shore of the small isolated Alaskan town of Point Mettier When the description of the crime scene piques the interest of Anchorage detective Cara Kennedy, she makes the trip to the isolated Point Mettier to investigate. While investigating, along with local police Chief Shipley and his partner officer Joe Barkowski a.k.a. J. B, Cara uncovers the head of the deceased buried in the stall belonging to long-term townie Lonnie and her pet moose, Lonnie becomes a suspect in Cara’s eyes. Lonnie whose bizarre ramblings quickly suggest that she is innocent meaning the killer is still on the loose in Point Mettier.
Point Mettier becomes a character in itself. Eerily similar to the real town of Whittier, Alaska, a former military outpost where all the town residents and shopkeepers live and work under one roof, Port Mettier and the building called Dave-Co. amp up the atmosphere in this book. Dave-co an apartment complex that contains a network of underground tunnels, a B & B, grocery store, post office, Chinese restaurant, church, hospital, and police station (including cells) residents rarely get outside. The town so isolated is perfect for those residents who are hiding from something or someone and the only way in or out of the town is a one lane tunnel that is notorious for closing in inclement weather.
Cara, battling demons of her own after the death of her son and husband is already on shaky ground the best of days but when the tunnel is closed due to a storm, she finds herself stranded in the building, an outsider, along with the rest of the 200+ town residents including a murderer. When a gang from a neighboring town arrives with semi-automatics, another layer is uncovered, one that has residents barricading their doors and Cara on further on the edge.
A decent novel debut from author Iris Yamashita Academy Award nominated writer for the movie Letters from Iwo Jima. Very atmospheric with a cast of quirky dynamic characters, and a twisty plot, this book, definitely unique in itself, might attract fans of movies such as Fargo or Twin Peaks. Although slow to get into and I felt certain things were not really addressed or wrapped up, its ending suggests a sequel is in the works. City Under One Roof is a quirky and atmospheric read that I really enjoyed, and would definitely recommend. Look forward to reading more about Cara Kennedy and the Dave-Co residents’ stories.