Category Archives: A Long Way Down

Review: A Long Way Down by Randall Silvis

Title: A Long Way Down by Randall Silvis
Ryan DeMarco Mystery Series
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 464 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Just when you think you’ve reached the bottom…

Ryan DeMarco would rather not go home. Not now, maybe not ever. But when his estranged wife attempts suicide, he has no choice but to return to western Pennsylvania, and all the memories that wait for him there. Unfortunately, it’s not only ghosts from the past waiting to greet DeMarco upon his return. An old high school classmate has risen through the ranks to become a county sheriff, and he is desperate for help investigating a series of murders that might tie into a cold case from his and DeMarco’s school days.

DeMarco and his new love, Jayme, agree to join the team working on the case. But it’s not easy for DeMarco to be walking the streets of his troubled past, and the deeper he and Jayme dig into the disturbing murders the less likely it is that either one of them will escape the devastation.


A Long Way Down by Randall Silvis is a perplexing mystery. Although this newest release is the third installment in the Ryan DeMarco Mystery series, it can be read as a standalone (but I do recommend books one and two as well).

During a visit to his long estranged wife, Laraine, Ryan DeMarco runs into his old high school buddy and current Sheriff Ben Brinker. After hearing about a series of recent murders that bear an eerie resemblance to still unsolved cases from 1988 and the 1930s, Ryan agrees to help with their investigation.  With his girlfriend and private investigator partner Jayme Matson by his side,  Ryan battles troubling memories while the duo try to find the killer.

Ryan is still a bit brooding and uncommunicative about his emotional wounds.  Returning home is not as easy he thinks it will be and he is besieged by long ago memories that are rather dark. Shaking off his somewhat grim mood, Ryan is soon embroiled in trying to figure out who murdered Jerome Hufford, Justin Brenner and college student Samantha Lewis. Ryan is certain there is no connection to the previous unsolved cases despite the similarities so they exclusively work on the current murders.

Jayme is frustrated by Ryan’s lack of communication but she tries to remain patient with him. She is hoping to move their relationship in a new direction but she is unsure of Ryan’s reaction to her suggestion. Jayme is troubled by Ryan’s dark moods but she is hopeful he will confide in her about what is troubling him.  But personal issues take a backseat to their investigation into the three current murders.

Jayme and Ryan decide their best chance in catching the murdered is to concentrate on the victim whose murder is a bit of an outlier. Certain aspects of the murder are quite different than the others and their research leads them to a popular college professor.  There is something about the arrogant professor that raises both Jayme and Ryan’s suspicions,  but will they unearth a connection between him and the other two victims?

In their downtime, Jayme and Ryan are both quite contemplative as they sort through Ryan’s murdered author friend Thomas Huston’s unpublished writings. Huston’s mother has requested his assistance in selecting additions for an upcoming publication. Will Ryan come to terms with his emotional baggage as he reads his friend’s wise words?

A Long Way Down is a cleverly written and engrossing mystery. Ryan is still a work in progress as he attempts to come to terms with his troubled past. Jayme is optimistic their relationship will survive the emotional battering  from Ryan’s tumultuous past but will he be able to fully embrace the changes she is hoping for? Their investigation into the three murders is quite interesting and moves a slow but realistic pace as they track down clues and follow leads. With a very shocking twist, Randall Silvis brings this suspenseful mystery to an action-packed, poignant conclusion.  With one thread left dangling, readers will be anxiously awaiting the next installment in the Ryan DeMarco Mystery series.

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Filed under A Long Way Down, Contemporary, Mystery, Randall Silvis, Rated B, Review, Ryan DeMarco Mystery Series, Sourcebooks Landmark, Suspense