Category: Mystery (Page 2 of 7)

Submerged Secrets: ‘Into the Water’ by Paula Hawkins

In a small, English town runs a river with a dark past.

into the waterWhen Nel Abbott jumps to her death in the river, she leaves behind her teenage daughter. Nel’s sister, Jules, comes to take care of her, returning to a town she was desperate to run away from. But this isn’t the first person to turn up dead in the water. The river has claimed the lives of several women over the years, and most recently, a teenage girl. However, not everyone is mourning the death of Nel, who was writing a book about the river’s past and dredging up memories the town would rather put to rest. Was someone desperate enough to keep secrets hidden…that they pushed her? Or is there something more sinister in the water that draws these women in?

Told from multiple perspectives, Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, is a page-turning mystery where just about everyone has a motive. Hawkins has a talent for crafting a quietly eerie tale that keeps you wanting more. I really enjoyed her breakout book, The Girl on the Train, as well as the movie, so I knew I had to pick up her newest one. And honestly, I think this one is even better than her first.

Hawkins does an excellent job creating complex and believable narrators that fuel the story. It wasn’t hard to picture the people of this strange town and to understand their pain and motivations. Hawkins handled switching perspectives really well, giving each character a unique voice and insight that actually added to the plot, instead of confusing the reader. I’m not always a fan of multiple narrators, but I liked how Hawkins did it in this book.

I particularly liked reading from the perspective of the victim’s sister, Jules Abbot. Her flashbacks of growing up in the shadow of her perfect sister really pulled me in. It was interesting how Hawkins played with the idea of memory and that how we remember the past can be more significant than what actually happened.

Water-Ripple-3If the characters don’t draw you in, the setting certainly does. The small town trying to ignore its own tragic past (which involves drowning accused witches) sets a creepy tone for the story. I liked how Hawkins includes excerpts from Nel Abbott’s unpublished book about the girls who died in the river. It really added to the idea of the river being a character in the story and kept me wondering what was behind these suicides.

Like her first novel, Hawkins’ writing is deeply engaging. While it’s not extremely fast-paced, the story definitely keeps moving. Much like the river that this book centers around, things appear calm on the surface, but there’s a lot going on underneath. Into the Wateris a quiet, yet deeply-satisfying book.

I would recommend this book for anyone who liked Girl on the Train, but also, for anyone looking for a well-written English mystery.

Secrets and Lies in ‘Behind Her Eyes’ by Sarah Pinborough

Continuing on with the British mystery trend, I would like to talk about Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes.

jaw dropLet me just start by saying you that will never guess how this book ends. Try as you might, this book is going to throw you for a serious loop. I finished this book on my lunch break one day and came back in the store and yelled “WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO ME?!!!” There is even a hashtag for this book, #WTFtheending. Don’t let this make you think that the ending was not good; it just shocked the hell out of me.

So onto the story: Louise, a single mom and a secretary, lives in London. Louise divorced her husband several years ago after he had an affair. Her days are taken up with work and her son. behind her eyesOn a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and they kiss. She is totally giddy about it because she feels there is a real connection and this has not happened to her in years. The next time she is at work, she meets her new boss who is incredibly handsome–and just happens to be the man from the bar. He also happens to be VERY married. Not only that but his wife is INCREDIBLY gorgeous. The new boss, David, and Louise talk about what happened and move forward. No big deal, right?

Then one day, Louise is walking back from dropping her son off at school and plows into a woman and knocks her down. It is Adele, David’s wife. Well, for whatever reason, Louise does not say she works for her husband. They grab a coffee and have a great time talking. They exchange numbers and start to become very chummy. While Adele and Louise’s friendship grows, David cannot seem to keep his eyes off of Louise. Well, of course this escalates and Louise is suddenly in secret relationships with both husband and wife. The more Louise gets drawn into Adele and David’s life, you become aware that something is very strange about this couple. They seem to be so perfect, but obviously something is rotten in Denmark. David cheats on his gorgeous wife, making the David that Adele describes in no way line up with the David Louise has come to know. So, who is lying?

This book had me guessing until the very end. If you love psychological thrillers, then you need to stop what you are doing and read this.

The Hunt Will Go On: ‘Celine’ by Peter Heller

What is it we were always told…? Don’t judge a book by it’s cover…? Well, with Celine by Peter Heller (author of The Painter and The Dog Stars), I did judge it. Lemuria got a poster for this book a few weeks before we got the actual book, and I fell in love with it. I immediately looked it up online to see what it was going to be about. It’s about a lady detective that brings broken families back together. I knew right then and there that this book and I were going to have a great relationship.

Celine is about so much more than a lady detective. The titular character is an effortlessly glamorous woman in her 60s who lives in Brooklyn with her second husband Pete. (I’m a little in love with Pete, if I’m being completely honest.) She is whip smart and knows exactly what to say and when to say it. However, Celine is not your average Jessica Fletcher or Miss Marple.bang! Celine specializes in bringing families back together, for example, finding parents that had to give their children up for adoption. She has no interest in looking for cheating spouses or catching white collar criminals. Is it weird to say that I want to be like Celine when I grow up? Not that I want to be a private detective (just kidding, I totally do), but I want to be as calm and collected as she is. Her husband, Pete, is a man of few words and just as smart as Celine. He often accompanies Celine on her cases, and offers great insight on them.

The story opens up to the story of Gabriela, who is five years old. She and her family are playing in the waves of Big Sur when tragedy strikes. Fast forward about 40 years later, and Gabriela contacts Celine to help her find out once and for all what has happened to her father. Celine is captivated by Gabriela’s story and agrees to help. The case takes Celine and Pete to Yellowstone Park, where they quickly find out that not everyone wants closure for what happened to Gabriela’s father. Throughout the book, episodic stories from Celine’s past offer up explanations of why she is the way she is. Her own background was incredibly glamorous, if not a little broken itself.

This is my first experience reading Peter Heller’s work, and I can say that I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of his books. Heller’s way with words draws me in with the poetry that’s spun through every sentence. When reading about Celine’s past, I feel nostalgic about a life that’s not even my own.

If you’re in Lemuria, come find me and I’ll wax poetic about why I love Celine!

The Penance of Penn Cage: ‘Mississippi Blood’ by Greg Iles

mississippi bloodGreg Iles is set to publish his final chapter in the Natchez Burning trilogy tomorrow. The trilogy, which began with Natchez Burning in 2014 and continued with The Bone Tree in 2015, will conclude with Mississippi Blood. The whole trilogy is set in the Natchez, Mississippi, of long-running Iles protagonist Penn Cage, who first appeared in The Quiet Game in 1999. (The trilogy also features appearances from characters in the previously stand-alone and unrelated thriller Dead Sleep from 2001).

I personally first encountered the character of Penn Cage about four years ago on the pages of his second novel, Turning Angel. Penn became the latest in my personal parade of literary types that I treasure: the non-professional private eye. He followed Lawrence Block’s book-loving burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, John D. MacDonald’s legendary beach-bum Travis McGee, and Rick Riordan’s now-forgotten tequila-drinking, tai chi-practicing English professor Tres Navarre.  But Penn hit closer to home, quite literally. At the time, I was working just over the Mississippi River and a little north of Natchez, in Tensas (pronounced Ten-SAW) Parish in Louisiana.

And that’s the thing about these characters: they inevitably become inseparable from their settings. Penn lives and breathes Natchez like its sins and successes are wholly his burden to bear. natchez & riverIt the middle of Turning Angel, he makes a pitch for his out-of-town fiancée to stay while he makes a run for mayor of Natchez: “Natchez has become a place where we have to raise our children to live elsewhere. Our kids can’t come back here and make a living. And that’s a tragedy…I want to change that.” And those words resonate because what’s true for Natchez is essentially true for all of Mississippi.

And this is what has always been at stake for Penn. Since moving home from Houston after the death of his wife, Penn has striven to make a idyllic home life for his daughter Annie, much like the one that his father, Dr. Thomas Cage, had given to him when he was a boy. For the first three books of the series (The Quiet Game, Turning Angel, The Devil’s Punchbowl), Dr. Cage is made out to be a veritable saint, completely devoid of the prejudice that plagues the Natchez community all around him, giving freely his time, medical expertise, and perhaps most importantly, his respect to the surrounding black community.

The façade starts to crumble at the beginning of the first book of this trilogy, Natchez Burning. Dr. Cage is charged with the recent murder of his trusted black nurse from the 1960s, Viola Turner. Her death quickly becomes enmeshed with the murderous activities of a white supremacist terror cell, the Double Eagles, and their drug-running descendants. (The real-life inspiration for the Double Eagles, known as the Silver Dollar Group, is chronicled brilliantly in Stanley Nelson’s harrowing true-life book Devils Walking: Klan Murders Along the Mississippi in the 1960s).

In telling Viola’s story (and Dr. Cage’s, and Natchez’s), Natchez Burning (and its sequel The Bone Tree) go to some wild places, such as post-Katrina reconstruction in New Orleans and the murder of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, of all things. sheriff-cooley-oTruly menacing villains such as Brody Royal, the money man behind the Klan, and Forrest Knox, the heir apparent to all law enforcement in Louisiana and simultaneously the head of the family crime syndicate, dominate the first two books, but are dispatched. By the telling of Mississippi Blood, only Snake Knox (Forrest’s uncle), the man with the meanest of goals—survival and notoriety—and the meanest of dispositions, survives to torment Penn and the good people left standing in Natchez.

Mississippi Blood moves at a slightly less frenetic pace than its predecessors (it would almost have to), but it simmers with the same tension. We—and the courtroom spectators of Natchez—are finally promised answers about Dr. Cage’s activities that have been lingering for years. Also lurking at the edges of Penn’s conscience and consciousness at all times is his half-brother Lincoln Turner, the illegitimate son of Dr. Thomas Cage and Viola Turner. Lincoln may be Penn’s antagonist, but he’s not exactly a villain, even from Penn’s point-of-view. Lincoln is seeking reparation for the disparity of his and Penn’s life in a way that Penn finds almost impossible to pay. Penn has even turned ambivalent about his father’s liberty, blaming him for a tragedy at the end of The Bone Tree, which was truly shocking and heart-rending in a way that is only possible for readers like me after hundreds of pages and dozens of hours spent with the same people.

But, above all, Penn is trying to hold down a peace for family, facing down a dark past before even thinking about a brighter future, determined to see it all the way down to the end. Because while the “Mississippi Blood” of the title may be evocative of all the violence that has taken place in the trilogy, it ultimately refers to the survival instinct of those who possess it running through their veins.

Greg Iles will be at Lemuria on Tuesday, March 21. He will begin signing books at 3:00 and read from Mississippi Blood at 5:30.

Just About Enough of This Ship: ‘The Woman in Cabin 10’ by Ruth Ware

Continuing on with my mystery trend as of late, I want to tell everyone about Ruth Ware’s latest book The Woman In Cabin 10. Since this recent obsession of mine was kicked off with Ware’s first novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood, I figured why not try the one that people have been buying like crazy since it came out.

The main character is a travel journalist named Lo Blacklock, who has worked at the same magazine for awhile and gets an exciting assignment because her boss is on maternity leave. Lo is eager to go on this assignment and make a good impression on her boss, because she would love to keep getting assignments such as this. titanic ballroomRichard Bullmer, the multi-millionaire businessman who married a noblewoman from the Netherlands, has built a state-of-the-art luxury cruise liner named the Aurora and is about to take its maiden voyage to the North Sea. The ship is said to the be the height of luxury and opulence, so obviously Lo is very excited to cover the maiden voyage and profile some of the super A-list guests.

A few days before Lo is set to leave on her trip, she is a victim of a home invasion and is extremely shaken. Lo is determined to not let this unfortunate event keep her from her work. On the day of departure, Lo boards the ship and is immediately impressed with the ship and the staff. Her cabin is like nothing she has ever slept in, and she settles right in. On the first night is a formal welcome party, complete with evening gowns and tuxedos. When Lo was getting ready, she met the girl in cabin 10, which is beside her cabin; however she does not see her at the the welcome dinner. Lo wonders if she is being hidden there by another passenger because she doesn’t look like the kind of person who would be on this ship. Richard Bullmer is handsome and extremely charming and his wife is exquisitely dressed, but extremely frail due to the treatment for aggressive breast cancer she has been diagnosed with and battling with for a year.

overboardLater that night, Lo is woken by a noise next door and then hears what she believes to be a body splashing in the water. To say that Lo has a proper freakout about this would be an understatement, and rightly so. She gets the head of security involved and demands to meet all of the staff to see if the girl in cabin 10 is among them or if anyone notices her missing. So what seemed like it was going to be a very pleasurable assignment soon becomes a real-life nightmare. Lo is nervous about the confined spaces, jumpy from her home invasion, and rather unnerved because no one believes her suspicions about what has happened to the girl next door. Lo discovers that all the passengers and staff members remain accounted for, which makes it especially hard to prove that there was a person murdered if no one even knows about the person. Much to Lo’s dismay the cruise continues on as if nothing is wrong. This does not dissuade Lo in her hunt for answers.

There is a crazy twist in this book that I didn’t see coming at all. Mrs. Ware really set the mood of this book in her writing. There were times that I found myself struggling with the small spaces that the character was put in and just her general mood of desperation. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone needing a thriller in their life.

Whodunit at a Hen Do: Ruth Ware’s ‘In a Dark, Dark Wood’

in a dark dark woodSo, I have never been much of a mystery reader, but right now I can’t get enough of them. I credit Ruth Ware for this trend in my reading as of late. A customer came in wanting Ware’s first book, the 2015 mystery In a Dark, Dark Wood, a few months ago and the first thing I saw was Reese Witherspoon’s review on the front: “Prepare to be scared…really scared!” Well, that’s about all I needed to become very, very interested in this. Not that I am the world’s biggest Reese fan, but purely because she said I was going to be scared. Excuse my language, but frankly I love to have the ever-loving s*** scared out of me. I don’t know why I am like this, or how I got this way, but I think I just enjoy the rush of adrenaline while still lying in bed.

The main character in this book is Leonora, a.k.a. Nora. Nora lives in London and is a crime writer. Nora lives a very solitary life, basically only leaving her apartment to take a lengthy run. One day, Nora gets an email from a person she does not know and the subject of the email is “CLARE’S HEN!” scared chickens(And for those of you that don’t know what a “hen” is, that is what British people call a bachelorette party. Technically it is a “Hen Do.”)
Nora immediately thinks she does not know anyone named Clare, but suddenly she remembers the only Clare she knows is someone she hasn’t seen in 10 years. Years ago, Nora left her life behind and didn’t keep in touch with anyone but her friend Nina. Nora sees that Nina is also included in the email, so both women make a deal to go if the other one does. Leading up to the Hen, Nora cannot figure out why she would be invited to Clare’s Hen when they haven’t spoken in so long. Sure, they had been best friends since childhood, up until Nora vanished. Nora immediately thinks something is up, but can’t quite put her finger on what that is. The Hen turns out to be happening in Clare’s very strange friend Flo’s aunt’s house. Flo seems to be almost obsessed with all things Clare. Nina and Nora immediately decide she is crazy. Perhaps they are right?

I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. It had me on the edge of my seat the whole time, and while it didn’t scare me to death, it definitely gave me a thrill. Ruth Ware’s newest book The Woman in Cabin 10 has been a huge success and I will write about that one very soon!

Grisham’s ‘The Whistler’ balances social issues, storytelling

By Jim Ewing. Special to The Clarion-Ledger

whistlerNovelist John Grisham keeps churning out winners that manage to wrap social issues, the law, and intriguing characters into an explosive mix, with his latest, The Whistler, sure to be a controversial bestseller like many before.

Avid readers may recall his previous “issue” book Gray Mountain (2014) served as much to bring attention to the rapacious practices of coal mining destroying families, communities, and the environment, as it did to simply tell a gripping yarn.

The Whistler carries on that social issue imperative, following his previous more typical lawyer tale Rogue Lawyer (2015), by taking on casino gambling on American Indian reservations.

The locale is Florida, with its rich history of corruption. The culprits are a shadowy band of Southern criminals called The Catfish Mafia, which funds its web of lucrative, money-laundering strip malls, golf courses, gated communities, and condos with a crooked casino it helped found on an Indian reservation through murder and intimidation. The scheme relies on a circuit court judge all too willing to take bribes.

Enter a single woman lawyer named Lacy, mid-thirties, worried about the ticking of her biological clock, working for the sedate and respectable, if not boring, state Board on Judicial Conduct. She is suddenly thrust into the heart of the corruption and violence by a whistleblower.

The result is a masterpiece of criminal enterprise exposed in a methodical page-turner made all the more evocative for its subject matter. Tightly written, well crafted, the novel moves at a fast pace with whiplash plot twists.

The controversial aspect of “Whistler” is the unique nature of casino gambling as practiced on Indian reservations. Grisham portrays the tribe as being split initially on whether to allow gaming; some wanting the cash it would provide to bring them out of poverty; others worried that it would morally destroy the community. Both prove true.

Once the casino is up and running, many in the tribe suspect that corruption is taking place but are intimidated into silence by the fact that each member of the tribe profits to the tune of a check for $5,000 per month. The casino’s wealth has also provided good schools, roads, a health clinic, and jobs.

It provides an ethical dilemma: blow the whistle and risk losing everything–or look the other way and allow corruption, intimidation, even violence to flourish.

Grisham weaves his storyline through both the emotional and psychological aspects of this dilemma. He deftly describes the laws that govern tribes and casinos and how they as sovereign nations under treaty are — and aren’t — subject to judicial review or criminal restraint.

As a consequence, The Whistler provides not only a good read but serves to educate and provide plenty of fodder for discussion.

The Whistler yet again reveals Grisham as a premier mystery writer.

Jim Ewing, a former writer and editor at The Clarion-Ledger, is the author of seven books including his latest, Redefining Manhood: A Guide for Men and Those Who Love Them.

Cure Your Halloween Hangover with ‘The Hike’ and ‘Girls on Fire’

Halloween. It’s finally here!

skeletons

But that means it’s almost over, as well. But if you’re the kind of person who loves to hear the fallen leaves rustle against your window pane as you curl up under your blanket on a couch watching a scary movie, the thrills don’t have to end when October does. I’m here with two books that came out this year that you may have overlooked, that are sure to keep on giving you chills and goosebumps long after your Halloween candy gives out.

the-hikeThe first book I’d like to talk about is The Hike by Drew Magary. I have  become a fan of Magary over the past couple of years through his columns on Deadspin, which come across a mixture of self-aware dad/bro humor (trust me, it’s not as cringe-inducing as that sounds) with a lot of talk about football. So when I heard he had a book coming out, I was thrilled. When I heard it was a novel about a guy who gets lost on a walk in the woods and finds himself in a horror-esque wonderland, I was…less thrilled.

Drew Magary

Drew Magary

But when I finally gave it a chance, I was really drawn in. Ben, the main character, must face down the traumas and disappointments of his past, as well as the contents of his nightmares, to achieve self-actualization. If he ever leaves the Path, he will die. If he stays on the path, he will encounter dog-faced men, a talking crab, a friendly giant cannibal, and a monster lord. He must come to grips with existential dread and isolation from what he misses most in the world–his wife and three children. The whole experience of reading the book was surprisingly moving without ever losing its page-turning momentum.

girls-on-fireThe second book I’d like to recommend is Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman. The story begins on Halloween night in 1991 with the apparent suicide of a local jock in the woods near a small Pennsylvania town, and ends one year later in the same place with a meeting of three girls who know the truth. In between, average girl Hannah Dexter (who would be played by 1990s Thora Birch, if I was adapting this movie) is used as a pawn in a game between queen bee Nikki Drummond and outcast, Kurt Cobain-obsessed rebel Lacey Champlain. Hannah must
discover who she is and who she can trust, before it’s too late.thora-birch Set against the “Satanic Panic” of the era (that also underlined the excellent Only Love Can Break Your Heart from earlier this year), the novel shows that sometimes the monster lies not without, but within. The atmospherics in the book are just off the charts.

So, after you’re done throwing away your jack-o-lanterns, taking down your decorations, putting up your costumes, getting the toilet paper out of your trees, and eating all of your candy, bundle up with this two books and keep the Halloween flame flickering long into November.

Revisiting Travis McGee in ‘The Deep Blue Good-By’

“Travis McGee’s still in Cedar Key—
That’s what ol’ John MacDonald said.
My rendezvous’s so long overdue
With all of the things I’ve sung and I’ve read.”

Jimmy Buffett, “Incommunicado”

JacketI read my first Travis McGee book in 2006, after my freshman year of college. I think I stole the paperback from my brother, but it was my father with whom I shared the rest of the 21 book series over a period of four years. He started reading them as the later ones first came out, but he’s a little young to have caught 1962’s The Deep Blue Good-by, the series debut by noted pulp crime writer John D. MacDonald.

I say “noted” because it’s not just my family who respects MacDonald. He has influenced mystery writers from Carl Hiaasen to Lee Child, both of whom have written introductions for his books and received praise from other writers such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robert B. Parker, and Ed McBain.

Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for continuing characters in crime fiction series, starting with Lawrence Block’s burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr and Rick Riordan’s tequila-drinking, tai chi-fighting English professor P.I. Tres Nevarre and continuing currently to Greg Iles’ Natchez crusader Penn Cage. Each of those series has such a specific sense of character and place. The protagonists are really law enforcement professionals, which sometimes takes the human element out of most crime fiction for my taste.

Travis McGee is a self-styled “salvage consultant” who retrieves precious commodities for people with few legal resources and splits the profits 50-50 after expenses. This debut novel in the series, with almost no origin story to weigh it down, moves quickly as McGee matches wits with oversexed psychopath Junior Allen. He’s trying to recover gemstones smuggled home from World War II by the father of Cathy Kerr, a local showgirl and single mother.

Jacket 2The Travis McGee novels (which can all be identified by the colors in their title, all the way to 1985’s elegiac Lonely Silver Rain) have tightly-constructed and entertaining plots, but it’s the little things that stick with you after you read them: McGee’s philosophical ruminations, proto-environmentalism, and general unease with adapting to modern life (even 50 years ago). The richly detailed settings of 1960s Fort Lauderdale, especially Bahia Mar, where McGee’s houseboat, The Busted Flush, is parked right next to the Alabama Tiger’s Perpetual Floating House Party. And, even though he is strangely missing from The Deep Blue Good-by, the person who outlasts any of McGee’s various lovers is Meyer, the bearded economist living about his yacht the John Maynard Keynes, who frequently plays Watson to McGee’s Sherlock.

Although firmly rooted in their eras, the novels hold-up as timeless summer beach reads (or books to read when dreaming of beaches). Travis McGee is part-James Bond (as 60s action-hero and serial monogamist), part-Jimmy Buffett type (as beach bum and underrated philosopher-poet) who always manages to feel unique to himself. This summer, I recommend revisiting his old adventures, starting with one of his toughest opponents in The Deep Blue Good-by.

‘All Things Cease to Appear’ by Elizabeth Brundage

I’m a pretty big fan of psychological thrillers, and I thought that was exactly what I was getting myself into when I picked up Brundage’s new novel, All Things Cease to Appear. Don’t get me wrong, this book is definitely psychological, but a little less of a thriller and more literary than I expected.

The book revolves around two families, the Hales (three brothers) and the Clares (George and Catherine), both with their own tragedies. In the opening chapter of the book, we meet a man who has come home to find his wife murdered and his young daughter at home with the body. This man is George Clare, and he is frantic at this point. Brundage then takes us into the Hales’ devastating loss of their family home, dairy farm, and parents. This home, of course, will later become the Clares’ home and the murder scene.

AllThingsCeaseToAppearBrundage takes you to when the Clares first met, and you soon realize that their marriage is not what it appears to be; it’s mostly thrown together because of Catherine’s pregnancy. They begin to move into the auctioned off farm house and meet their neighbors and George’s colleagues. The Hale brothers, the former residents of the home, start to come around and help with upkeep, and the youngest will sometimes babysit Franny, the Clares’ three-year-old daughter. The story is told from multiple points of view, switching from Catherine to one of the Hale brothers and then back to George. Brundage gives quite a few of the Clares new acquaintances chapters throughout the book and shows their perspectives of George and his wife. Most of them see the couple as happy and put together, but some see straight through the lies. As you move through these multiple viewpoints, pieces begin to fall into place, and many people are not at all what you expected.

This is much more than an engrossing crime story; it’s the story of marriage, love, loss, and family. It’s the story of a woman who is trying to make the best of her unfortunate marriage. It’s the story of three young brothers trying to cope with the loss of everything they knew and loved. It’s the story of a man with a dark past and haunting soul, and it’s all written so beautifully that it makes this one a hard one to put down.

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