six solitude road by bethany macmanus

Six Solitude Road is a beautifully written debut novel by Bethany MacManus. The story so captivated me that I had trouble walking away from the book. Swathed in mystery and set in the swamps of Louisiana, Six Solitude Road deals with every parent’s worst nightmare—child abduction. But there is more, so much more, than just child abduction in this book. The intricate plot weavings will leave you wanting more.

Theme/Theology: If you relied on God, your life would be a lot less stressful

Like Kate, many of us are meticulous planners who have to be in control of everything in our lives. If something goes wrong, we need to be the ones to fix it. But self-reliance is not a virtue (right, Gretchen? 🙂 ). Not only can it alienate you from others, it can also distance you from God. He wants us to go to Him with our wants and needs. He wants to help us with our problems and stresses, but many times He waits for us to ask.

Kate feels responsible for the abduction of her daughter’s best friend Becca. When her husband stands accused of the crime, Kate also feels it is her duty to exonerate him. Of course, the story wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if she did what she was supposed to—see to her family’s needs, pray for direction, trust in God and law enforcement, etc.

Rating: PG-13

Mature audiences only, please. Not a cozy mystery, this book is Christian noir—dealing with child abduction and a few other unsavory scenes that are not suitable for younger audiences. One scene in particular had me cringing (let’s call that the ewwww factor).

Social Issues:

A large part of this book deals with trust. Can you trust someone that betrayed you? Can you trust strangers? Can you trust someone you love despite suspicion of wrongdoing? Can you trust someone that acts untrustworthy? Can you trust God?


Some of Kate’s actions in the book drove me crazy. I would *not* let my daughter out of my sight if one of her friends had been kidnapped, yet Kate does so routinely to go off exploring on her own and seems unconcerned about it. A necessary plot device, I suspect.

There was so much going on in Six Solitude Road that I sometimes got a little lost. It all worked out in the end, although the reveal seemed a little far-fetched and contrived for my personal taste (think Agatha Christie). But it was worth it for the closure. It would have driven me crazy otherwise.

What is your favorite mystery/suspense book or movie?


18 thoughts on “six solitude road by bethany macmanus

  1. Self-reliance = true that! Big surprise that’s an area where I really struggle. This book is on my Kindle waiting to be read. And this review zoomed it up the list. I love that there’s question on who can be trusted.


  2. I’m not finished reading Bethany Macmanus’s debut novel, but boy oh boy is it ever a page turner! Can’t wait to get to the end and find out WHO DONE IT!


  3. Ooh – I don’t think I could handle this. There are certain issues/topics that just make me too nervous. (Hence why I no longer watch Law & Order: SVU. Too many nightmares!) I already struggle too much with anxiety/worry over certain things and child abduction is one thing I really don’t need to be adding any fuel to the fire. I have a hard enough time just letting my kiddo ride her bike up & down our street by herself!

    But I do enjoy mystery/suspense. I just have to be careful it avoids my “worry-triggers”. 🙂 I used to love Dee Henderson’s books but her latest one was so off-putting to me, it may have ruined all the others, too. I adore the Lord Peter Wimsey series. Do those count?


    1. @sparksofember: Yes, thank you for bringing that up. Different things are off-putting for different people; that’s one of the things that makes us all unique!
      I would say if you feel that way about child abduction, then don’t read SSR. You will be able to read Twelve Tragedy Lane (next in the series) without any of those same “worry-triggers” popping up! 🙂 Thanks so much for reading the review! Have an awesome week.


    2. I understand, SoE. I think that’s one of the reasons I went to work in a crime lab–to help combat those fears. Dunno. But don’t you love that our God is greater than our fears? Don’t forget to rest in that!

      I haven’t read or heard of any of the books you mentioned. Has anyone else?


      1. Oh, yes. I rest in Him daily – especially in the winter when I have to drive on icy roads! 😀 It’d be so easy to allow certain fears to control me if I didn’t have God to lean on.

        Really? I thought almost everyone had heard of Dee Henderson. She made quite a name for herself with Christian romantic suspense. I’m not as surprised you haven’t heard of the Lord Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy Sayers. I hadn’t heard of them until a few years ago but once I discovered them, I gobbled them up. He’s a British gentleman detective with PTSD, set between WWI & WWII.


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