There were four suspects in the rape of Lindy Simpson, a crime that occurred directly on top of the sidewalk of Piney Creek Road ... It was a crime impossible during daylight, when we neighborhood kids would have been tearing around in go-karts, coloring chalk figures on our driveways, or chasing snake down into storm gutters. But at night, the streets of Woodland Hills sat empty and quiet, except for the pleasure of frogs greeting the mosquitoes that rose in squadrons from the swamps behind our properties.
— That’s how “My Sunshine Away”, the debut novel from M.O. Walsh, begins.
It’s a suspense and a coming of age story set in an idyllic suburban neighborhood unsettled when a teenage girl — the narrator’s boyhood crush — is attacked.
Specifically, the novel is set in Baton Rouge. That’s where M.O. Walsh is from, but he now lives in New Orleans where he’s the director of the Creative Writing Workshop at UNO.