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I really liked this book, for a variety of reasons. It sounded like something that was likely to catch and hold my interest (and take my mind off the election), it had characters that sounded relatable, and I realized early on that the author has a great vocabulary (“nubilous moon”).

The basic premise is that a gruesome murder has been committed: the bodies of the wife and children of a beloved college professor, Thomas Huston, are found in their home. Huston has disappeared and is suspect #1, and Sergeant Ryan DeMarco is on the case. It turns out that DeMarco and Huston are friends, and DeMarco greatly admired the Professor. As DeMarco’s investigation begins, he is sure that Huston couldn’t have killed his wife and family, and he uses the notes for Huston’s half-finished novel to help him in his search for the truth. Along the way, he uncovers Huston’s secret life and wrestles with the difference between the man he knew and admired and the one he seems to be tracking as he works to solve the crime.

DeMarco is an interesting protagonist, with demons of his own: “He thought it remarkable all the thins he could feel when he sat motionless in the darkness without a drink in his hand…” I also liked the way his thought process worked: “…he also knew enough of human behavior to know that logic seldom applied when an ample supply of testosterone was stirred into the mix.”

Difficult to make more comments without spoiling something. Overall, this is a well-crafted, tightly plotted thriller with mounting suspense, interesting characters, and a mystery that isn’t easily solved (well, at least not by me, but then I am not the best at solving mysteries along the way, generally being surprised J). With thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley, I give this one 5 stars. I hadn’t previously read anything by Randall Silvis, but I definitely hope we see more of Ryan DeMarco!

 

 

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