by Carsten Stroud
When a little boy disappears in a town infamous for it’s anomalous amounts of people who go missing, one of those investigating is ex military Nick Kavanaugh. Soon, the boy returns…but in a very strange location. A year later, Nick finds himself involved in the investigation of a bank robbery in a nearby town, the murder of cops, and another disappearance, this time of an elderly lady and her gardener. Meanwhile his wife, Kate, is discovering clues to the rash of disappearances over the decades and the connections to the city’s four founding families. Meanwhile, the bank robbers have discovered something interesting in their cache of loot for which others will kill to retrieve.
This is a complicated and intricate plot. I will have to say that I almost gave up on it. I didn’t understand the direction it took, or rather the multiple directions it took. It seemed as if there were several stories going on at once with no connection. I kept reading because of the supernatural element and found the story intriguing.
Nick Kavanaugh: 32, officer with the Criminal Investigation Division, ex Special Forces, lean, 6’1”, pale gray eyes, black hair graying at the temples, baritone voice, father is a lawyer, mother runs a hospital, has a twin sister
Kate Kavanaugh: Nick’s wife, lawyer, auburn hair, sapphire blue eyes, fine features, father is a military history professor, mother dead, has a brother and sister, attended Georgetown University of Law
Rainey Teague: 10, pale, blond, large brown eyes, mother suffers from ovarian cancer, dad is an investment banker
Mavis Crossfire: Staff Sergeant with the Niceville police, beefy woman
Tyree ‘Tig’ Sutter: Lieutenant in charge of the Criminal Investigation Division of two counties, black, blunt featured, nose has been broken, large man, former Army
Coker: Sergeant with the county patrol, pale brown eyes, used to live in Billings, MT, smokes, former Marine
A lot of characters and almost every character is heavily, detailed, almost to the point of TMI.
I heard some distinct voices and conversations tended to stay on point. A few accents and phraseology that kept it in a southern flavor.
Chapters aren’t numbered, but titled and various lengths. Omnipresent POV. Lots of extraneous detail. Long sentences. Clusters of profanity. I found, however, an overload of details that took me out of the story and was part of the reason I almost gave up. Stroud, however, does a good job of sneaking in the supernatural, building on it. He almost gave too much explanation near the middle of the story, but held back a few bits. There was just enough information for me to stop and say, “Wait a minute.” and realize that I’d been reading about even more strangeness before this point. It’s a long book with too many descriptions and details I didn’t think helped. However, I think the subtle eeriness kept me going and upped my original rank from purple to: