book cover of When Cicadas Cry
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When Cicadas Cry

A novel by

John Grisham meets Harper Lee in this stunning debut by a South Carolina attorney. Zach Stander, a lawyer with a past, and Addie Stone, his indomitable detective and lover, find themselves entangled in secrets, lies, and murder in a small Southern town.

A high-profile murder case—A white woman has been bludgeoned to death with an altar cross in a rural church on Cicada Road in Walterboro, South Carolina. Sam Jenkins, a Black man, is found covered in blood, kneeling over the body. In a state already roiling with racial tension, this is not only a murder case, but a powder keg.

A haunting cold case—Two young women are murdered on quiet Edisto Beach, an hour southeast of Walterboro, and the killer disappears without a trace. Thirty-four years later the mystery remains unsolved. Could there be a connection to Stander's case?

A killer who's watching—Stander takes on Jenkins's defense, but he's up against a formidable solicitor with powerful allies. Worse, his client is hiding a bombshell secret. When Addie Stone reopens the cold case, she discovers more long-buried secrets in this small town. Would someone kill again to keep them?

Ideal for fans of mystery, suspense, and thrillers in the vein of Karin Slaughter's Pretty Girls and Stacy Willingham's A Flicker in the Dark, as well as for readers who followed the high-profile Murdaugh murder trial, held in the same small town as in When Cicadas Cry.

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"A twisty narrative of secrets and lies, I flew through When Cicadas Cry in a day. A haunting case from the past. A racially tinged murder in the present. And a small South Carolina town about to erupt like a powder keg. Equal parts courtroom thriller and gripping mystery." - John McMahon

"John Grisham meets Harper Lee in this immersive and thought-provoking Southern legal thriller. Caroline Cleveland's talented storytelling propels this realistic tale of secrets and history, combined with the power of contemporary passion and prejudice. The setting is authentic, the characters relatable, and the story propulsive and engaging. Standing ovation for this brilliant debut!" - Hank Phillippi Ryan

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