Saturday, May 3, 2014

'One of Us'

When I'm bored, when I'm stressed, when I get discouraged, only a mystery story will make me feel better.  Mysteries are such a challenge, if well written. And they have to flow.  

Fortunately, the folks at Simon & Schuster have gifted me with yet another good mystery story.  

Tawni O'Dell has written some great stories; I loved 'Back Roads' because the plot, while thoroughly engaging, had me guessing until the end.   

So, I just finished reading her newest novel, 'One of Us', while I was soaking in the bath tub. I was so involved that I didn't even notice when the water grew cold. That's how interesting it was.

Dr. Sheridan Doyle is a famous, successful, smart, and polished forensic psychologist for the Philadelphia's D.A.'s office.  But beneath that fame and designer clothing, he is still Danny Doyle, the bookish boy from a blue-collar family living in the Lost Creek mining community.  Lost Creek is famous for the long-ago hanging of four Irish leaders of a rebellion against the mine owner, and it is here where Danny discovers a dead body, a body that is connected to the wealthy family responsible for the miners' deaths.  Danny teams up with Rafe, a detective and the man who was a father figure to him.  And while searching for the killer, Danny discovers some unsettling truths about his own family.

Author Tawni O'Dell
O'Dell has returned to her Pennsylvania roots and given us a story that only she can write. Her descriptions of the desolate landscape and resignation of the community left me feeling just as resigned. Although Danny was like a breath of fresh air, I could feel his eventual despondency and regret. His grandfather, Tommy, is a particular favorite of mine because of his common sense and deep intelligence. The love that he and Danny share is a highlight of the story.

When the mysterious Scarlet roars into town, the story really takes off.  She's a very colorful character who definitely has her own agenda.  What that is, I'll leave for you to discover.

This is a story about family and the ties that bind us.  It's about secrets, lies, abuse, and sorrow.  It's dark, it's powerful, it's very, very surprising.

And it flowed!

'One of Us', by Tawni O'Dell, will be published in August 2014 by Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.

No comments: