Title: Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis
Ryan DeMarco Mystery Series Book One
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 400 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone now.
What could cause a man, when all the stars of fortune are shining upon him, to suddenly snap and destroy everything he has built? This is the question that haunts Sergeant Ryan DeMarco after the wife and children of beloved college professor and bestselling author Thomas Huston are found slaughtered in their home. Huston himself has disappeared and so is immediately cast as the prime suspect.
DeMarco knows—or thinks he knows—that Huston couldn’t have been capable of murdering his family. But if Huston is innocent, why is he on the run? And does the half-finished manuscript he left behind contain clues to the mystery of his family’s killer?
A masterful new thriller by acclaimed author Randall Silvis, Two Days Gone is a taut, suspenseful story that will will break your heart as much as it will haunt your dreams.
Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis is a dark mystery about the murder of a beloved college professor’s family.
Pennsylvania State Police Sergeant Ryan DeMarco might be broken and troubled but he has not lost any of the instincts that make him an outstanding policeman. His current case investigating the horrific murders of Thomas Huston’s wife and three children hits a little too close to home but he mostly succeeds at keeping his personal feelings at bay. He is having a difficult time believing Thomas is responsible for the murders, but he tries not to let his friendship with the professor (and best-selling author) cloud his judgment. Despite his boss’s doubts about letting him remain on the case, DeMarco remains committed to uncovering the truth about who murdered Huston’s family.
Ryan finds his most promising lead after interviewing Huston’s student Nathan Briessen who is also an aspiring author. Nathan provides valuable insight into Thomas’s writing process that takes DeMarco to his first solid lead in the case. Trying to piece together the professor’s whereabouts in the weeks prior to the murders takes Ryan down an unexpected path and leaves him wondering if Thomas truly is the devoted family man everyone believes him to be. Was there more to Thomas’s relationships with the people he was interviewing than research for characters in his next novel?
Closer to home, DeMarco quickly learns the academic world is full of political maneuvering and infighting. Are professional jealousy and denied tenure motives for murder? Were Thomas’s colleague’s truly happy for his success as an author? Or were they secretly seething with envy for his commercial success? DeMarco’s discoveries about Thomas’s interactions with his students reinforces every accolade for the well-liked professor but was there something darker lurking beneath the surface? Could one of his students be responsible for the murders?
The chapters written from Ryan’s point of view follow the investigation and to some extent, provide valuable insight into where his life went so tragically wrong. DeMarco remains trapped in an unhealthy relationship with his estranged wife. He drinks too much, sleeps too little and devotes too much of his time to his career. Ryan appears to have one healthy relationship that he seems determined to destroy, but working on the Huston case eventually serves as a turning point for him to deal with the dysfunction in his life.
The chapters written from Thomas’s perspective appear to be designed to keep the reader guessing whether or not he was involved with his family’s deaths. These chapters are often disjointed and somewhat rambling interruptions that disrupt the overall flow of the story and rarely add anything useful to the storyline.
Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis is an intriguing police procedural that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy. The mystery aspect of the storyline is very well written and the various twists and turns make it difficult to figure out whodunit and why. Ryan DMarco is a compelling character but some of his actions during the investigation are a little far-fetched. The investigation ends with a final plot twist that is impossible to predict and neatly wraps all of the loose ends. All in all, a dark, atmospheric mystery with a surprisingly upbeat conclusion.