The best thrillers to read right now: The Girl behind the wall by Bruce Wetterau

Edgar Allan Poe is famous for writing about murder. Did he commit one many years before he became a literary lion? The Girl Behind the Wall follows Poe through real-life events from the

last months of his life while weaving together a web of murder mysteries, past and present, all tied to him and the girl somehow.

The story opens in 1849 with Poe tormented by frightening visions about strangling Annabel Lee in a fit of rage many years ago. Newspaper reporter Sam Reynolds meanwhile, had befriended Poe, hoping to get him to confess to killing Annabel in 1826 when he was a student at the

The University of Virginia. Flash forward nearly two hundred years to the present. The book's hero, Clay Cantrell, accidentally uncovers damning

evidence--Annabel's skeleton and a locket from Poe--behind an old brick wall at the university. The mystery of Poe's strange visions about

Annabel and his actual doings in his last months of life continue to unfold in flashbacks. Meanwhile, Cantrell and friends become self-styled history detectives, launching a seemingly impossible search of their own for the truth about Annabel's death almost two hundred years ago.

A new, seemingly unrelated murder mystery intrudes in the present day, though, when a sexual predator and serial killer named the Raven claims his first victim, a UVA coed. Clay can't quite believe the new killings are completely unconnected because the Raven is obsessed with Poe and

stages his murders with clues tied to Poe's works.

With young women suddenly turning up dead, Clay volunteers to help police unravel the Raven's inscrutable clues and joins the hunt for him. But catching a deadly killer is a dangerous business. The

Raven could turntable at any moment and set his sights on Clay as his next victim. A simple murder surely wouldn't do for Clay. It would have to be the finale of a diabolical scheme inspired by


The Girl Behind the Wall is the third book of the Clay Cantrell Mystery series but is written as a stand-alone mystery. It has also been written so that readers don't have to know about Poe's life and works

beforehand. For those curious about what is fact and what is fiction in the book, there is a timeline of the actual events included from the last months of Poe's life at the back of the book.