Different Kind of Thriller in "Two Days Gone", by Randall Silvis - Book Review

A picture-perfect family is murdered. A man is on the run. The investigating police officer has a connection to the case and a deep, troubling past of his own.  Sound a bit hackneyed? Perhaps, but Randall Silvis’ Two Days Gone is refreshingly different.

Our protagonist, Ryan DeMarco, is a Pennsylvania State Police officer in charge of the case - death by knife of Claire Huston and her three children. Tom Huston, Claire’s husband and father of their three children, has walked into the woods and disappeared. A highly acclaimed author and the darling of the university where he teaches, it’s speculated that Huston has snapped. And DeMarco has to get to the bottom of it. Although Huston has a darkness to him, no one can imagine him murdering his beloved family. The first of several complexities begins when we learn DeMarco and Huston have a connection. Huston had based a character in one of his best-selling books on DeMarco, and DeMarco felt a kindred spirit in Huston. Many more intricacies in the case follow.

DeMarco has to chase down multiple leads, learning more about the top suspect’s complicated life as a devoted family man, best-selling author, and respected university professor. DeMarco must investigate Huston’s new manuscript (which is hidden, of course), his envious colleagues, and the subject of his new book.  To solve the case, DeMarco must also uncover the mystery of Huston’s subject matter. We get to know DeMarco’s history as well - dark and lonely; too much alcohol and too little sleep; personalizing the case.

Once every few books, I need to take on something a bit lighter and easier to read, so I chose Two Days Gone. But it certainly isn’t frivolous. It’s a well-written murder mystery. Silvis coherently develops his characters into a believable account when the crime itself seems too brutal to consider. There are certainly some holes, but the dialogue is quick and entertaining. You may be up late reading it through to the end.

Published: 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Vickie’s rating: 3 1/2 stars