MacGowan’s fast-paced thriller blends crime procedural with interpersonal drama and supernatural elements.
The novel opens dramatically, with the ghastly death of a local farmer, seemingly caused by a mysterious voice on the telephone. The farmer had convulsed, turned purple and bled to death from long gashes down his arms. From there, things get even stranger for private detective John Reeves, who has agreed to help the recently deceased man’s wife find answers about what exactly happened to her husband. However, a second murder quickly follows the first, then a third, each more gruesome than the last. Sinister forces flood the town, and John, along with his brother Alan who works at the local police department, decides to figure out who (or what) is behind these crimes, no matter the personal cost. The tale speeds along and thrills from start to finish. The risks only increase, especially as Alan discovers he has a more personal stake in this case than he thought. In fact, personal drama escalates along with the book’s central mystery. Some crime-focused novels get mired in procedural elements, but MacGowan weaves emotional sequences with hard, procedural drama in a realistic (despite some of the book’s more fantastical elements), satisfying fashion. Characters come alive, which also helps the novel’s authenticity. This is the second book in MacGowan’s John Reeves series; we can expect much more from this author, which is a treat indeed for readers who enjoy thriller, supernatural or crime genres.
An expertly crafted murder mystery that will delight readers with compelling characters, smart dialogue and some truly unexpected supernatural elements.