"The Jealous Kind" (Simon & Schuster), by James Lee Burke
James Lee Burke transports readers back to 1952 in his coming-of-age tale, "The Jealous Kind."
Aaron Broussard is a high school junior who lives in Houston. For the most part, he's a typical teen trying to find his place in the world. His life changes when he intervenes in a fight between Valerie Epstein and her boyfriend, Grady Harrelson.
The moment Aaron sees Valerie, he's hopelessly in love. He not only stops the argument, but also inspires Valerie to leave Grady, putting him in a precarious situation.
His infatuation with Valerie has him daydreaming, and one night when he spaces out, a woman is murdered. Aaron was seen in the area, so he becomes a prime suspect.
Burke reveals a world of the early 1950s that feels more realistic than that portrayed in television shows of the era. The writing is stellar, and the portrayal of Aaron and his surroundings is compelling.