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Section Roads

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  38 reviews
When attorney Cullen Molloy attends his fortieth high school reunion, he doesn’t expect to be defending childhood friends against charges of murder…

In a small town on the high plains of Eastern New Mexico, life and culture are shaped by the farm roads defining the 640-acre sections of land homesteaders claimed at the turn of the Twentieth Century. Cullen and Shelby Blaine
Paperback, 359 pages
Published July 2019 by Acorn Publishing
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Average rating 4.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  68 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Bonnye Reed
I was not familiar with Mike Murphey's work when I ask for this novel, Section Roads. I still know very little about Mike, but I do know where he was in the late 1960s! This b00k had me laughing and crying so many times - everything about it screams life in New Mexico in the '60s and beyond. I graduated from Roswell High school - and life was very much like this for the class of 1967. Several of us were pretty weird... and the high plains desert has a lifestyle that is set up around section road ...more
Oh, this was huge and different and lovely and funny and terribly sad all at the same time.

The writing is glorious and the characters wonderful and the story unfolds gradually. I normally loathe 'small-town America' novels but this was just perfect.

Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Relatable characters

Loved the characters in this book, who are very relatable. I especially like the example that a girl and boy can love each other and be great friends.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a great book! A really enjoyable read, extremely well written, with quite a few unexpected twists. The characters were likeable and believable as well as the plot and storyline. It all seemed to untangle quite quickly right at the end of the book, but at least all my questions were answered and throughout, it kept me wanting to read more. I really felt a connection with and liked all the characters and surprisingly, the book also includes some comedy moments! I would definitely recommend an ...more
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
What a gloriously twisty mystery packed within a combination coming-of-age plus aging-and-looking-back literary feat! In a tiny little community inexplicably founded by settlers in Eastern New Mexico and homesteaded at the turn of the 20th century, a locale without rivers, mountains, or canyons to recommend it, life is slow and entertainment sometimes found at the expense of others. In October of 1966, a group of high school kids create a prank, causing injury, and inevitably as the consequences ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a book you can pick up and get straight into. It’s a nice quick read about beautifully broken characters with an unbreakable bond.

I think this book was really well written as there were many time period and storylines that were perfectly interwoven throughout the novel. All the characters were very real and likeable and the story is really bittersweet and realistic.

I would love whole separate book about Weard and his life in the CIA.

Ashlea @ The BookCosy
Mike Murphey
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kirkus-reviews
A 43-year-old murder casts a long shadow over a high school reunion that brings together three friends haunted by the past.
Not much changes in the New Mexico town of Arthur unless it absolutely has to, as a character observes in this debut novel that impresses with its strong sense of place. The stage for this decades-spanning saga is compellingly set when Hezekiah Boyd’s high school reunion committee tracks down the computer software maven. He insists there has been a mistake: The
Reader Views
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (7/19)

I love it when an author writes a thoroughly engaging story that takes you on a bumpy ride to a destination that can't be guessed ahead of time. “Section Roads” by Mike Murphey is such a book. Murphey provides a series of entertaining, unreliable characters, each of whom keeps secrets from the others, from the community, and even from themselves.

At a small high school in Easter, New Mexico, Cullen Molloy and Shelby Blaine formed an unusual friendshi
Mike Murphey
Oct 18, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Retired journalist Mike Murphey’s engaging debut novel SECTION ROADS takes readers back and forth through a time spanning over 40 years. The story centers on old high school friends solving two puzzling, closely connected murders, the first which occurred in 1969 and sent one of the friends to jail. The second crime coincides with their class reunion in 2009.
The story is set in the fictional town of Arthur in southeastern New Mexico where corruption infects the local police department. The unben
Sherrill Joseph
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing

The fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, is famous for his belief that the smiling countryside holds more sins than do the “lowest and vilest alleys of London.” The scattered homes and rolling fields may look idyllic to some. To Holmes, they create a sense of dread because “of their isolation and the impunity with which crimes may be committed there.” (“The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”)

Mike Murphey has set Section Roads, his intense story of treachery in the rural town of Arthur in
Book Reviewer
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Section Roads is a captivating mystery novel by Mike Murphey that follows a group of friends getting together at their small New Mexico hometown for their high school reunion after more than forty years. As freshmen band geeks, Cullen Molloy and Shelby Blaine meet in the small town of Arthur, New Mexico during the 1960’s. As they experience their first love, they also form a friendly relationship with Buddy, a misunderstood football player. Little do they know, this friendship will be forever bo ...more
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-general
This is just a beautiful novel. It's haunting, sad, and brilliantly captures nostalgia of middle age as well as the possibility inherent in young adulthood.

The story follows a group of friends gathering for their 40th High School reunion in 2009. Interspersed with this storyline are glimpses into reunions past, as well as significant moments from their High School and formative years.

The pace is slow and steady, forming a comforting heartbeat underpinning the rich layers balanced atop it. This w
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the '60s during a fateful night, Buddy shot a young woman, and he served his time in juvenile detention. It was a terrible accident that weighs heavily on him. But in the present of the book, 2009, there is a class reunion going on, and he wants nothing to do with it. Only, a murder has occurred and the police go straight for Buddy as their number one suspect. Cullen, a lawyer, offers to represent him with the help of his girlfriend Lori, a former detective and their friends Shelby and Weard. ...more
Debra McGuire
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this mystery, which is also an entertaining tale of southern-fried repression.
As Agatha Christie's Miss Marple once said, "There is a great deal of wickedness in village life." This is equally, if not even more true of small town American life, particularly in 1960s era Bible Belt small towns like Arthur, New Mexico. On the surface is one story: It is 1966, and among a group of high school friends, a girl is killed. Although it is clear who did it, the tragedy is re-visited in a serie
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mike Murphy tells a story of unrelenting love, lust and loyalty in this tale that centers around the 40th High School class reunion of 1969 in the small town of Arthur, New Mexico. Oh yes, and there are two murders committed years apart that get solved as well! At times it was even laugh out loud funny. Bottom line is that I loved this book! It was a mystery, romance and goofy story all rolled into one. It is not easy to combine so many components and still move toward a conclusion that makes se ...more
Gemma The BookCosy
Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a really quick read which would be the perfect holiday book. Essentially it is about a group of friends who meet up every 10 years for a high school reunion. During this year's reunion a body is found with three shot wounds in various places. Five are arrested for the murder. The murder weapon: an antique gun which was identified as the murder weapon when Christy, aged 17, died at a party. The second connecting factor the victim: Christy's uncle; location: the same house where Christy d ...more
Suzanne Hare
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cullen Molloy attends his fourth high school reunion in a small town in New Mexico. He had expected some drama because of events that happened during high school but he did not expect to be using his skills as a lawyer to defend three friends from a murder charge.

This is a well written mystery that spans across the forty years. The characters were absolutely amazing, well developed and interesting. The narrative was extremely well done adding a sense of the times the story took place in and fur
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nothing is as appears yet much is the same.

Section Roads – This is my first read by this author and I like it immensely. While written with plenty of storylines, the book flips back and forth between the 1960s and 2009, showing the characters as young students/adult and as matured adults.

There are plenty of secrets that come out in 2009, after a murder, that makes this a rollercoaster ride of intrigue and suspense. The variety of characters make this an interesting story. The emotions are plent
Pamela -
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is set in a small town in New Mexico with old friends coming back together to a school reunion. It reminded me of the town where Footloose was set, back in the 80's!!, with the religious values dictating the way the lives were lived.
Switching between present day and the past the story unfolds and produces a few unexpected surprises. The characters were all clearly described and I could visualise each of them well from the level headed intelligence of Cullen to the CIA affected Weard!!
Kate Smith
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book even though it went from past to present. Some books can make it difficult to keep on track but this was easy to keep up with.
I was hooked from the first chapter and there were so many twists and turns it kept me hooked.
The author really gave me an insight into each character and the journey they all went on growing up.
I felt so bad for the characters and what they had to go through especially with the twist at the end. It was heartbreaking but it felt good at the end. The
Heather W
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is never easy to write a story that jumps back and forth between different eras, but Mike Murphey does it flawlessly. He weaves such a tale that it is funny at times and yet heartbreaking as well. The storyline is intriguing and imaginative. The twists and turns taken while trying to discover the truth about the tragedy uncover long-hidden secrets.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Jennifer Patino
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Section Roads" clashes together the past and present to weave a wild mystery of a ride. The characters are all so quirky and there are many laugh out loud moments in the book. Mike Murphey spans generations using subtle references and the noir film tone of the book made it very entertaining. "Section Roads" is a nostalgia-laced tale of murder, friendship, first loves, and how to handle life's lemons, with a strong emphasis on character and humor. Four stars. ...more
Ever Leigh
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Section Roads is a riveting, fast-paced novel, incorporating elements of the value of friendship and navigating life while faced with unexpected disastrous situations.

This is an excellent read for those who enjoy several different themes being thrown into the same book. It is not one-dimensional mystery. It's got a little of everything.

Be prepared for an involved ride of a read, you wont want to miss it.
Lori Oliver-Tierney
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book by a debut author. I really enjoyed the twists and turns in the story. I identified with the characters as much of it took place in my era. I had a bit of trouble at the beginning sorting out who was who but don't let this deter you. By the third chapter I was hooked. I don't want to tell much about the book as it was a murder mystery, but I will say this- It was riveting and kept me wondering what would happen next. I am looking forward to this authors next book. ...more
Preeti Chauhan
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I will not give away much but I definitely am all praise for this work by Mike Murphey.

The characters of Cullen, Shelby, Buddy and the hilarious Weard all come to life.The coming of age,growing up and dealing with being a murderer in high school ... the book is no sentimental mishmash but a well etched story with believable characters and a nice story line with the right balance of mystery and spice and emotions that keeps you hooked.

Go for it !
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author via Voracious Readers Only. I really enjoyed the book. The small town characters are relatable and realistic. The story ties a present day case in with a case from the past. He does a great job of tying the two together along with letting out surprising new information from both the past and the present. I would definitely read another book by this author.
Truly Trendy PR
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Section Roads is an intriguing mystery novel written by Mike Murphey that is packed with suspense. A coming-of-age plus aging story that is heartbreaking yet thrilling with twists and turns around every corner. Murphey has created a unique group of characters are a well-developed and realistic. The setting is a perfect back drop for a fascinating story .
Lena D.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot. Plenty of twists and likeable and unlikable characters. One thing that kept crossing my mind whilst reading this was - how it would make a great comedy film with some clever script writing. Some of the scenes just seemed to create scenes in my head of slapstick. Great read though.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inventive & a fun read.

One friend of mine wonders after reading a book, which character is the author. If the author wrote himself in as Cullen, he is too good to be true. The characters were much more fun than my high school classmates. This was an enjoyable read. Lighthearted, good flavor of the times. It was not very realistic.
Calleen Petersen
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a book with a very intriguing storyline. The flashbacks through time were handled really well, and there were twists and turns I didn’t expect.
A little heavy on the sex scenes, but I otherwise really enjoyed it.
Full Disclosure- I was given a free copy through Voracious Readers in exchange for a honest review.
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