how you'd feel if you learned that the family of a friend of yours had
been brutally murdered. What if that friend, a man you admired, was
nowhere to be found? Now go one more step: You're one of the state
police investigators responsible for solving this crime. Sergeant Ryan
DeMarco of northwest Pennsylvania, is in just that uncomfortable
The waters of Lake Wilhelm are dark and chilled. In some places the lake is deep enough to swallow a house. In others, a body could lie just beneath the surface, tangled in the morass of weeds and water plants, and remain unseen, just another shadowy form, a captive feast for the catfish and crappie and the monster bass that will nibble away at it until the bones fall asunder and bury themselves in the silty floor.—Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis (Sourcebooks Landmark, 2017, p. 3 [ARC])
- Setting: Contemporary times; northwest Pennsylvania
- Circumstances: The family of a respected professor and novelist has been brutally murdered, and the man, Tom Huston, has disappeared. Is he afraid for his own life, or is he the prime suspect? State Sergeant Ryan DeMarco, can't believe his friend is guilty, but the more he investigates, the more unsure he becomes, especially after he discovers the unfinished manuscript of Tom's latest novel. What is Tom hiding? And will the killer strike again?
- Genre: thriller, suspense, mystery
- Themes: family secrets, friendship, grief, loss
- Characters: Tom Huston, author and professor, who has just lost his entire family; Ryan DeMarco, dealing with personal grief as well as troubles at work; Kyle Bowen, who works with Ryan; Bonnie Harris and Danni Reynolds, who met Tom at a strip club; various people on campus and in town
- Why I want to read this: This book has several features that call to me: it takes place in Pennsylvania (although not near where I live), it involves a college professor, and it's the start of a new series. In addition, from reviews, I am gathering that Ryan DeMarco is a flawed and troubled man, though good at his job.
- What I've learned from reviews: This is an intense read, and the crime itself is fairly graphic (not for the squeamish). The novel deals with some tough issues beyond the murder, the story is told from more than one viewpoint, and the characters are well developed. Although all the reviews I read were generally positive, a few people mentioned that the end was not as strong as they would have liked.
- My thoughts: After reading the first couple chapters, I think I'm going to add this to my reading rotation. I'm curious and would like to come to my own conclusions about the strength of the ending.