- The Conversion (St. Martin's Press, 2008)
- In Clara's Hands (Bloomsbury, 2003)
- Vanitas (Simon & Schuster, 1998)
- Nightswimmer (Simon & Schuster, 1994)
- The Sound of Heaven (Bloomsbury, 1992)
- The Waterline (Doubleday, 1989)
- A Warmer Season (Bloomsbury/McGraw-Hill, co-pub, 1987)
- Clara's Heart (Arbor House, 1985)
I sank into the book with something of the same discomfort as tramping in a Vermont early spring, one moment in wet, icy snow, the next in sticky mud or a cow pie. Catherine's life now isn't much different from what she once described as she waited for her daughter's precarious mental health to perhaps turn toward something better: "I lived from day to day in a stupor of anxiety, hardly eating anything myself, waiting for bulletins that were never very promising ... What they didn't tell me, couldn't tell me, wouldn't dare to tell me was, 'She wants to kill herself.'"
Nor is she the most reliable detective. She admits to us, in this first-person narrative, that the absence of a book from its familiar spot on her shelf confuses her. "I began to worry that I'd somehow lent it out and completely forgotten to whom. Perhaps my memory wasn't so good after all."
Yet these twinges of doubt are equally clues to what's gone wrong on the mountain ridge known as "Cloudland," where Catherine and her sparse neighbors barely speak, yet attempt to still be neighborly somehow. Drawing from some of Vermont's unsolved and unfinished murder cases, Olshan crafts a haunted -- and haunting -- progression from unease to risk to deadly danger.
This is a a book that requires readerly attentiveness and patience. But the rewards are powerful and unforgettable. CLOUDLAND will last on the shelf.