Acclaimed bestselling author, Randall Silvis returns following Walking the Bones (2018) with his award-winning Ryan DeMarco mystery series in this thAcclaimed bestselling author, Randall Silvis returns following Walking the Bones (2018) with his award-winning Ryan DeMarco mystery series in this third installment of the complex but compassionate character (and one you sympathize with) —A LONG WAY DOWN.
Silvis once again demonstrates he is a “master” of his craft combining both intelligent literary and mystery suspense in a powerful series, leaving readers eagerly awaiting the next.
From the last novel, we catch up with former sergeant of the Pennsylvania State Police, Ryan DeMarco (now, age fifty). He has spent time in the mountains of Kentucky alone struggling with his dreams and the grief of his son as well as taking time away from the job due to the intensity of the last case.
The new woman in his life, Trooper Jayme Matson (love her) has taken time away from her position to accompany and travel with DeMarco in their RV to figure out their relationship, allow Ryan to heal, and the next step.
However, Ryan gets called back to his hometown of Youngstown, PA to deal with his estranged wife, Laraine who has attempted suicide and currently under watch in the hospital. She has been coping with her grief over the loss of their son in destructive ways. Ryan, being the compassionate person, he is—flies back to be by her side with the support of Jayme.
DeMarco is haunted by this tragedy since his mother had done the exact same thing a quarter century earlier. Other than his mother, Laraine was the first woman he had ever loved. They met as children in a trailer park. He wondered about love. It could take many forms. It could be freeing or imprisoning.
From the love of his mother, his estranged wife, his baby son, Ryan, Jr, and now his love for Jayme. He felt tied to each of them. He had not been with his mom on her final night. Much of the heaviness had lifted since the dreams in the Kentucky mountains. He sees his son as a twelve-year-old in his dreams.
DeMaro had not been great at relationships, but things were good with Jayme, despite some of his bad decisions. However, women remained a mystery to him.
“He understood the criminal mind well, and had a knack for predicting its simple turns and convolutions. But the mind of a woman in love—no law of physics could account for the complexities of such a mind.”
However, without a woman in his life, he had no balance, no center.
The periods between these three women remained dark in his memory. There was anger, resentment, and the times he was closed off, allowing no one in when he went to the dark places.
While he is in his hometown, (a place he has stayed away from due to the many demons from his troubled past) – his old friend and football buddy from high school, Ben Brinker is now the county Sherriff and needs his help with a case.
There were two cold cases, one thirty years old and one eighty, both tied somehow to the new case. There were lots of similarities. He calls Jayme, and they both decide to pack up the RV and immerse themselves in this case.
Ryan was not so sure he wanted to plunge back into violence, murder, and serial killers, especially in his hometown, bringing up too many painful memories. Jayme encourages him, and she wants to see where Ryan came from to learn more about his past.
She also is talking about having a baby with Ryan, but she is walking on eggshells with that subject due to Ryan still grieving over his lost son.
With some interesting, colorful secondary characters, and local authorities, there is a lot of fun and humor with cat-and-mouse between Jayme, Ryan, and the locals. From the differences in sociopath and psychopath, (quite impressive) they all use their own tactics to delve the mind of this serial killer. The killer lies in wait for the right moment, strikes, and dismembers the body. Is there a copycat or is it the same killer from years ago. Why now?
Jayme is witty, intelligent, and she adores Ryan. She takes no crap from anyone and puts Ryan in his place when needed as well as everyone around her. She is the perfect partner for Ryan. She was instrumental in the Kentucky case, and Ryan is proud of her.
He is willing to remain in the background. They both will be working as independent private investigators attached to the office as consultants. Of course, some of the local egos must remain in check, and the jealousies continue to arise.
As they spend nights pouring through all the old files, they are some baffling differences, regarding why the killer treated the girl differently. In between working on the case, Ryan starts slowly opening up a little about his troubled past – his mother and father. Jayme still must keep her own desires to herself about a baby and patiently wait for the right time.
“Grief is like gravity; it grounds us in reality, but too much of it can crush a person flat.”
They also become friends with Ben and his wife, Vee (which I loved). Also, Ryan receives boxes of notebooks of Tom’s books (author from previous books) from his mother-in-law Rosemary. She wants him to sift through and put together a book.
However, as the days go on trying to solve this murder, Ryan and Jayme pull out these handwritten notes, the powerful words speak to them on different levels.
The lyrical, poetic prose is breathtaking as the words come at the exact moment to help guide, comfort, and soothe their weary souls.
Ryan’s emotions are all over the board, from being back in his hometown and haunted by his estranged wife, his mother’s suicide, his baby son’s death, the loss of Tom his devoted friend, his PTSD, his insomnia, the mood swings, his guilt, his relationship with Jayme, and he is overwhelmed with the violence of these cases.
Often Jayme senses he is pulled back into the lurking darkness. Can she help him out of this downward spiral?
The case takes a turn which puts Ryan and Jayme in danger the suspense builds, as they hang on to their lives by a thread.
As a boy, Ryan found solace in the woods. The angry, frightened, and troubled little boy. As an adult, he feels the same. He despises the ugliness and hatred in the world and why people are so cruel to each other. He wanted to escape. However, through Jayme and his friend’s comforting words, he begins to see life on a deeper level and a more meaningful enriched life.
Words cannot adequately describe this novel and Silvis’s beautiful writing. In A LONG WAY DOWN, he infuses lush, poetic, and evocative descriptions of Thomas Huston, (Tom) literature professor, and bestselling author character we met in previous books (friend of Ryan).
As a reader, these were awe-inspiring moments, as Ryan (in particular) and Jayme, both starving for these perfect words of wisdom for guidance. The quotes came at the exact moment in their complicated lives when they needed them the most, to make sense of their current situation.
There are many quotes I wanted to include here. I enjoyed the piece about nature and life. I bookmarked many pages and quotes. However, my review will be even longer (than it is already).😘 I have included some of those in my upcoming interview with the author. You almost forget you are reading a crime murder mystery, due to being caught up in the lyrical prose. (a good thing).
This is a rare skill, when writing crime or suspense with tension, to allow the reader to unravel the character’s emotions and their thoughts at the precise moment. I think this goes back to the author’s skillful craft of combining literary and suspense.
This is where Silvis shines. It is not so much about the action taking place, or what is coming next, it is the moment you stop and hear, smell, sense what the character is experiencing. To really enjoy literary fiction, you must fall in love with the words and the characters.
Yes, there is plenty of action, and suspense to drive this thriller; however, Silvis has a unique way of reaching down into the soul of his haunted characters who are compassionate and flawed, seeking redemption, and wants to see the good in this world in spite of the darkness. Isn’t this real life and what we all want?
There is darkness, suspense, action, misery, death, violence. Despair and sorrow. But there is good, beauty, joy, hope, compassion, and light.
As referenced in the novel, when DeMarco recalls a conversation with Thomas Huston, to suggest to him that investigating a crime was a lot like writing a novel. Huston had explained that Chandler chose not to write typical mysteries, those in which the only thing that matters is the resolution, the solution to the mystery, but instead to write mysteries in which every scene matters because every scene adds another layer to the main character.
Not about what happens to the world as the plot unfolds, but what happens inside the character and the reader. Chandler’s goal, said Huston, was to “to exceed the limits of a formula without destroying it.”
Silvis manages and executes, flawlessly. Thought-provoking!
Why are people drawn to shows like This is Us and The Village? Because, it is raw, real, and flawed people dealing with the ugliness of life, yet it is uplifting and inspiring. A perfect balance. It is relatable. In our current world of unrest, we all are seeking a higher and spiritual meaning.
I loved the up close and personal relationship between Jayme and Ryan, and I am looking forward to the next in this series. I have a feeling we will see more of Jayme, Ryan, Laraine (fingers crossed). A series not to be missed!
Please join me on June 4 for an extensive interview with the award-winning author, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and prolific essayist. For readers/writers and exclusive behind the scene look at his characters and his writing, plus learn what is coming next! Do not miss this edition. I am truly honored to speak with one of my favorite authors and one of my most fascinating interviews this year.
Also, I am hosting a Book Giveaway May 20-June 3, 2019. Enter here for a chance to win (1 of 5) Paperback ARCs US only. Winner announced June 4.
A special thank you to Poisoned Pen Press (Michael), Sourcebooks, and Netgalley for an early reading copy.
DEAR WIFE is cleverly constructed, twisty, fast-paced, emotionally explosive, heart-pounding suspense, characters to die for—the writing superb, and rDEAR WIFE is cleverly constructed, twisty, fast-paced, emotionally explosive, heart-pounding suspense, characters to die for—the writing superb, and razor sharp.
Be prepared to be "blindsided." The talented author exceeds all expectations and then some. Loved this book.
My initial IG and Twitter post after reading: "WOW!! 🎬 Blown Away "Hotlanta"#thriller The BEST of 2019. @KimberlySBelle knocks #DEARWIFE "out of the park" 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Her BEST yet!"
A woman escapes an abusive husband. She plans every move, with limited resources.
She must one step ahead of him. He is smart and calculating.
Will she leave enough clues to trap him and beat him at his own game?
After all, the monster taught her everything she knows.
This multi-level masterpiece is much more than a modern day marriage, domestic abuse, psychological thriller, and a woman on the run.
DEAR WIFE is brilliantly crafted with colorful characters woven in and out of this woman's life. There is a deep meaningful human spiritual and emotional connection, as those cross paths for a reason. No matter the race, class, or color - people experience problems. There is the dark evil side of human nature, and there is a good side. Belle explores both, in the least expected places.
To name a few: from an illegal Mexican gal, a drag queen, housekeeper, a spiritual Reverend, a church, a boarding house, former prostitute, identity document forgery specialist—plus we have a cop, realtor, hacker, a software salesman, husband, lover, sister, and a mom.
All these characters are connected. Some nice. Some not. Some guardian angels in disguise. We never know other's past and what goes on behind closed doors- as for why this genre is so popular.
As in many cases, and I speak from experience, women (victims) in this situation must put others out of their reach to protect them and themselves. The abuser keeps them from others. The victim does not trust others and has very few close friends or family.
This novel is a perfect example of how we must trust others in some cases (no matter their past), to survive. A story so realistic, it could be ripped from today's headlines, versus a fictional account.
What makes this thriller a "stand-out" is not only the clever writing, the riveting heart-pounding suspense, vivid descriptions, the intensity, the highly creative plot, but the "excellent" character development.
Think a thriller crosses "This is Us." The author has done her research (even the cop procedural, hacking, guns, medical, churches, religion, psychological, etc.) Not many writers can master this. Author, Michael Robotham (huge fan) has this unique quality, and now we have another, Kimberly Belle.
I have been a fan since her first book and read each of them. (Being an Atlanta gal, I love books set in the town). However, I will say, DEAR WIFE hands-down, "is on another entire level." It speaks volumes.
I am dying for everyone to read this book. 📕 I cannot say enough. I almost want another follow-up book with these characters. These characters will haunt you and linger well after the book ends. I am still thinking of them. Movie-quality guys! 🎬
To sum up, thriller author, Kaira Rouda has the "narcissistic personality," mastered; and Kimberly Belle has the "domestic deceptive/marriage," mastered. They have locked in these respective titles, and readers have come to expect the "best" and are never disappointed.
This story resonates with me in many ways. I hope you enjoy as much as I did. I cannot wait to hear your thoughts.
Congrats, Kimberly, A HIT! 🥂 Top of your game. 🏆
Stay tuned for my upcoming Q&A Elevator Ride with Kimberly, coming June 25!
An avid fan, I love all Daniel Palmer books. A rock star, whether Daniel, (dad) Michael, Daniel and Michael, or D.J! (2018) Top Books The First FamilAn avid fan, I love all Daniel Palmer books. A rock star, whether Daniel, (dad) Michael, Daniel and Michael, or D.J! (2018) Top Books The First Family.
Wow, SAVING MEGHAN will keep you guessing to the very end! Twisty, dark, fascinating! If you love psychological/medical thrillers you are going to devour this one.
This family of three (Becky, Carl, and Meghan) have some deep dark secrets. What a wild roller coaster ride. Is it Munchhausen by proxy, or something more serious? How far will a mother go to protect her daughter? Review coming. ...more
Kristy "dazzles" in my favorite book of this series!
Last day! Enter Here **Book Giveaway Contest ** Peachtree Bluff Three Book Series Set (paperbackKristy "dazzles" in my favorite book of this series!
Last day! Enter Here **Book Giveaway Contest ** Peachtree Bluff Three Book Series Set (paperback/US only) April 22-May 7, 2019. Winner announced May 8 along with my Q&A with Kristy Newsletter.
A favorite Southern author, Kristy Woodson Harvey delivers a bittersweet heartwarming conclusion to her popular Peachtree Bluff trilogy with THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF PARADISE. (what a knock out cover). Fans will be excited for this final book in the series, yet will miss all the fabulous characters (male and female).
My "favorite book" of the series with some shockers you do not see coming! An avid Jack fan and delighted for a happy ending! Top Books of 2019. Five stars +
Things get heated as secrets from the past come to the surface with this lovable cast of characters: Mother Ansley and daughters Caroline, Sloane, and Emerson.
Emerson takes center stage as she faces whether to marry her childhood sweetheart and be pulled back to Peachtree Bluff, choose her career, or possibly another love interest. Being true to one's self is an ongoing theme.
While there are two weddings to plan, some unexpected characters from the past surface, causing further complications.
Will Jack and Ansley finally get their second chance and happily ever after, and will all the girls understand the choices made out of love?
Set in the charming historic Southern town, Kristy Woodson Harvey delivers top-notch storytelling, with fully developed characters for a multi-generational and inspiring story of love, hope, family, and forgiveness.
I am a huge Ansley/Jack fan and could not imagine how this would wind up. Kristy once again exceeded all expectations! Some Ah....moments.
Kristy's Ansley reminds me of Wendy Wax's (Ten Beach Road) character: Madeline Singer. Both are mothers and grandmothers. Both have put their family first throughout their lives. However, however, now late in life, they are finally getting their second chance for happiness with the men they love. Since I am in this age group, I adore these two authors, series, and characters!
I have read all of Kristy's books since her first, and knew then she would be a star! As I have mentioned in the past, "think". . . Emily Giffin, Dorothea Benton Frank, Mary Kay Andrews, Mary Alice Monroe, Wendy Wax, Karen White, and Patti Callahan Henry— combined with Kristy's own unique, charming signature style.
With her winning savvy style, her passion, and love of family, community, and the South —resonate throughout each page. What a perfect beach read and furthermore a "must-read" summer series. Do not leave for vacation without it.
Very excited to announce the upcoming Q&A Elevator Ride Interview with Author Kristy Woodson Harvey, coming May 8! Lots of fun facts from this extraordinary author.
I highly recommend each of her books. One of the top Southern Contemporary authors out today!
PS, Thank you, Kristy, for including me in your acknowledgments. Honored, flattered, and humbled. As always, a delight to receive an early reading copy thanks to Gallery Books, Kristy, and NetGalley.
Outstanding!!!! I have been an avid fan of Susan Rebecca White since her first book and have read each of them. All five stars. She takes it to anothOutstanding!!!! I have been an avid fan of Susan Rebecca White since her first book and have read each of them. All five stars. She takes it to another level with literary/Southern fiction: WE ARE ALL GOOD PEOPLE HERE! Put this gem on your list now. Look at this stunning cover!
What a beautifully written heartwarming and moving story! I adored (5 Stars) The Last Suppers (2017) and Mandy Mikulencak returns with an even more pWhat a beautifully written heartwarming and moving story! I adored (5 Stars) The Last Suppers (2017) and Mandy Mikulencak returns with an even more powerful and compelling tale of love, forgiveness, and redemption with FORGIVENESS ROAD.
Highly recommend the audiobook, narrated by Amy Landon (a beautiful voice for the characters). I enjoyed the digital copy from NetGalley (thank you) and Kensington, as well as the audio.
Ironically, I am reading ARC of (8/6/19) Susan Rebecca White's We Are All Good People Here: A Novel and (3/5/19) Greg Iles Cemetery Road and at the same time, reading (2/27/19) Mandy Mikulencak's Forgiveness Road. All three books are set in the deep south of Mississippi and deal with injustices and unforgettable characters. Three award-winning books and Southern authors. Three of my favorites. I think I am in Southern book heaven!
Get this gem on your list now! You will fall in love with courageous granddaughter Cissy and grandmother, Janelle and their amazing road trip. Mandy is at the top of her game with her best yet!
For fans of Susan Rebecca White, Diane Chamberlain, Karen White, and Joshilyn Jackson. More coming shortly....more
I really enjoyed THE DRY GRASS OF AUGUST! As a native of Charlotte, NC — growing up in the 50s-60s in the South, very relatable. We also vacationed iI really enjoyed THE DRY GRASS OF AUGUST! As a native of Charlotte, NC — growing up in the 50s-60s in the South, very relatable. We also vacationed in Florida often (also have been a full-time Florida resident since 2003). I adored the relationship between 13-year-old Jubie—a white teenager, and 47-year-old Mary— the black maid.
A stunning debut from Anna Jean Mayhew! A heartfelt Southern historical fiction and coming-of-age. I felt as though I was reliving my youth. I purchased the audiobook narrated by Karen White (exceptional) and a special thanks to Kensington and #NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. For those of you who missed this the first time around, coming Jan 29, 2019. Beautiful cover.
Also look for the author's second book: Tomorrow's Bread Coming Mar 26, 2019. I will be pre-0rdering and looking forward to reading!
KILLER! 5 Stars +++ NEVER TELL is the BEST Lisa Gardner book ever. (love this series). Top Books of 2019! Only Lisa Gardner could make you "tear upKILLER! 5 Stars +++ NEVER TELL is the BEST Lisa Gardner book ever. (love this series). Top Books of 2019! Only Lisa Gardner could make you "tear up" (in a good way) after reading an intense "knock out" thriller. (the ending was priceless) and sounds like we will get more of this series (fingers crossed). Loved catching with DD Warren and Flora Dane and the introduction of new character Evie. Perfect! Brilliantly written. Gardner once again the "Top of Her Game!"
My quick thoughts. FOR BETTER AND WORSE is a 5 Stars++ and Top Books of 2018! Margot Hunt delivers a clever domestic suspense psychological thrillerMy quick thoughts. FOR BETTER AND WORSE is a 5 Stars++ and Top Books of 2018! Margot Hunt delivers a clever domestic suspense psychological thriller I could not put down. Best of all, it is set in South Florida. I am always up for a West Palm Beach and Delray reference. (fictional seaside community of Shoreham, FL).
Superb character and plot-driven suspense thriller, filled with non-stop action and TWISTS. I loved Nat, Will, and Charlie. Nat is a character I hope we see again. Watch your back and never get on her bad side. Deliciously evil and witty.
Talk about two killer thrillers back to back! I was reading Taylor Adams' NO EXIT (loved) and FOR BETTER AND WORSE at the same time. Can you imagine? Two top-notch crime/psychological thrillers. BOTH books had so many twists and especially the ending (s). For fans of Kimberly Belle's The Marriage Lie and Kaira Rouda's Best Day Ever.
There is much to say here, and more to come when I am back to my computer. Full Review coming.
Move this one to the top of your list. I have also pre-0rdered the audiobook, narrated by none other than my favorite performer: Cassandra Campbell.
I Loved THE STRANGER INSIDE 5 Stars ++ Laura Benedict hooks you from page one to the last word. Top Books of 2019 List. Move this one to the top ofI Loved THE STRANGER INSIDE 5 Stars ++ Laura Benedict hooks you from page one to the last word. Top Books of 2019 List. Move this one to the top of TBR list and pre-order now. You do not want to miss this one. Review coming! ...more