A relentlessly grim, absorbing tale about a man with little to lose.


A troubled cop’s life becomes messier when he witnesses a grisly killing and then becomes a prime suspect.

In Carey’s novel, inebriated patrolman Eddie Devlin stumbles on a murder one rainy night just north of Boston. Heading home in the storm, he sees a car with a flat tire parked near the local swamp so he stops to help. That’s when he spots a man plunging a hooked blade into a woman. Eddie fires his gun repeatedly into the attacker’s chest. But when “the uniforms” respond to Eddie’s call, they find only the cop and the dead woman. The body of the assailant, whom Eddie reportedly shot multiple times, is missing. The culprit, whom a reporter nicknames Cronus after the Greek god who carries a sickle, cannot be found either living or dead. Suspicion falls on Eddie, and he is put on departmental leave while a formal investigation takes place. Although no charges are filed, the department cuts him loose after a year. When two fresh bodies turn up in the marsh, Eddie thinks he’s being set up as a serial killer, possibly because he’s no longer one of the police’s own. In his 40s, out of work, smoking and drinking too much, and living in a near-empty apartment, Eddie becomes haunted by thoughts of Cronus and the murders. It also appears someone—someone Eddie knows—is trying to kill him. Crime victims, drunks, and the occasional cop selling drugs populate Eddie’s bleak, hardscrabble world. There is no humor and very little hope in this engrossing book that emphasizes the dreariness of life in a crime-filled town that has too “many dirty cracks” that allow “the scum to hide.” People are raped, beaten, maimed, slain, or a combination of those atrocities. Beginning in 1980 and concluding a handful of years later, the novel skillfully sets the mood of the time with references to songs and clothes of the period. The author excels at placing readers in an environment permeated with religion, barrooms, and brutality.

A relentlessly grim, absorbing tale about a man with little to lose.

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2020

ISBN: 979-8-68-204982-0

Page Count: 195

Publisher: Darkstroke Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 7, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The story is sadly familiar, the treatment claustrophobically intense.


Twenty years after Chloe Davis’ father was convicted of killing half a dozen young women, someone seems to be celebrating the anniversary by extending the list.

No one in little Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, was left untouched by Richard Davis’ confession, least of all his family members. His wife, Mona, tried to kill herself and has been incapacitated ever since. His son, Cooper, became so suspicious that even now it’s hard for him to accept pharmaceutical salesman Daniel Briggs, whose sister, Sophie, also vanished 20 years ago, as Chloe’s fiance. And Chloe’s own nightmares, which lead her to rebuff New York Times reporter Aaron Jansen, who wants to interview her for an anniversary story, are redoubled when her newest psychiatric patient, Lacey Deckler, follows the path of high school student Aubrey Gravino by disappearing and then turning up dead. The good news is that Dick Davis, whom Chloe has had no contact with ever since he was imprisoned after his confession, obviously didn’t commit these new crimes. The bad news is that someone else did, someone who knows a great deal about the earlier cases, someone who could be very close to Chloe indeed. First-timer Willingham laces her first-person narrative with a stifling sense of victimhood that extends even to the survivors and a series of climactic revelations, at least some of which are guaranteed to surprise the most hard-bitten readers.

The story is sadly familiar, the treatment claustrophobically intense.

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-2508-0382-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

More like a con than a truly satisfying psychological mystery.


What should be a rare horror—a woman gone missing—becomes a pattern in Kubica's latest thriller.

One night, a young mother goes for a run. She never comes home. A few weeks later, the body of Meredith, another missing woman, is found with a self-inflicted knife wound; the only clue about the fate of her still-missing 6-year-old daughter, Delilah, is a note that reads, "You’ll never find her. Don’t even try." Eleven years later, a girl escapes from a basement where she’s been held captive and severely abused; she reports that she is Delilah. Kubica alternates between chapters in the present narrated by Delilah’s younger brother, Leo, now 15 and resentful of the hold Delilah’s disappearance and Meredith’s death have had on his father, and chapters from 11 years earlier, narrated by Meredith and her neighbor Kate. Meredith begins receiving texts that threaten to expose her and tear her life apart; she struggles to keep them, and her anxiety, from her family as she goes through the motions of teaching yoga and working as a doula. One client in particular worries her; Meredith fears her husband might be abusing her, and she's also unhappy with the way the woman’s obstetrician treats her. So this novel is both a mystery about what led to Meredith’s death and Delilah’s imprisonment and the story of what Delilah's return might mean to her family and all their well-meaning neighbors. Someone is not who they seem; someone has been keeping secrets for 11 long years. The chapters complement one another like a patchwork quilt, slowly revealing the rotten heart of a murderer amid a number of misdirections. The main problem: As it becomes clear whodunit, there’s no true groundwork laid for us to believe that this person would behave at all the way they do.

More like a con than a truly satisfying psychological mystery.

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-778-38944-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Park Row Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

Did you like this book?