Snow Falling on Cedars

Snow Falling on Cedars



The Pequod Review:

I feel like I have read a basic version of this story twenty times: A murder takes place in a small town. The victim is white. A minority is suspected of the crime and eventually prosecuted, while most of the townspeople are persuaded of his guilt. However, an intrepid reporter has doubts about the case, and his (solo) investigation uncovers a much more complex story.

So it goes in David Guterson’s first novel, Snow Falling on Cedars, which is so cliched that I don’t even need to tell you how it ends. Nonetheless, within this framework, Guterson executes it extremely well — with strong writing, suspenseful courtroom scenes, and a unique setting (in this case, in the middle of 1950s anti-Japanese sentiment). Recommended.