Category Archives: Graveyard Fields

Review: Graveyard Fields by Steven Tingle

Title: Graveyard Fields by Steven Tingle
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Full of grit and small town secrets, Tingle’s debut is a searing look at the effects of crime for fans of David Joy and Michael Farris Smith.

Davis Reed is plagued by the three “A’s”: anger, alcohol, and anxiety. A former Charleston police officer, turned private detective, Davis hopes to gain some respect, self and otherwise, by writing a book. His subject: the true story of a B-25 bomber that crashed on Cold Mountain in western North Carolina just after the end of World War II.

From the comfort of a mountain cabin in Cruso, NC Davis spends his days popping anti-anxiety pills, drinking copious amounts of home brewed beer, and not writing a book. But when he discovers a set of keys on a mountain trail, he becomes curious, then obsessed, about finding the rightful owner. With the help of his friend Dale Johnson, a 275 pound local deputy who is full time ornery and part time clever, and Dale’s cousin Floppy, a motor mouthed mechanic with a penchant for conspiracy theories and kleptomania, Davis works to uncover the mystery of the keys while navigating a world of small town secrets, shady characters, 80’s heavy metal, and murder.

But Davis has his own secrets and even though he’s escaped to the mountains some bad business in Charleston is beginning to catch up with him. For an anxiety riddled man looking for peace and quiet Davis somehow stumbles into more chaos and crossfire than any amount of beer and pills can alleviate.


Graveyard Fields by Steven Tingle is an engaging mystery with an eclectic cast of characters.

Davis Reed is a former police officer turned private eye with an anger issue he self-medicates into submission. He has been living with his sister Laura and her cop husband Greg Evans when a reluctant favor to Laura quickly spins out of control. Now estranged from Laura and recovering from a gunshot wound, Davis heads to a rural town in the North Carolina mountains to ostensibly write a book. In reality, he thinks about writing much more than he actually puts pen to paper. Davis continues his mind-numbing pill popping while swilling beer with his landlord Deputy Dale Johnson. Life gets exciting pretty quickly after Davis finds a set of keys on a mountain trail. Much to Dale’s dismay, Davis insists on returning the keys to the rightful owner. But his search for the owner becomes dangerous as his quest takes a very shocking turn.

Davis is frustrating yet unexpectedly likable as he fails to follow through with many of his plans. Which is why it is so surprising when he cannot be dissuaded from trying to find the owner of the keys. Dale is an unlikely sidekick since he is not interested in his friend’s quest. But Davis knows how to convince the Deputy to go along with his ill-thought-out plans.

Davis is incredibly complacent yet oddly contemplative as he waits for answers about what happened in Charleston. His one friend on the force keeps him informed about the investigation. Davis also hopes for Laura’s forgiveness about his role in the situation that happened because of his inability to control his anger.

Graveyard Fields is fast-paced mystery with a vibrant setting. Davis is a deeply flawed yet appealing character. The secondary cast of characters is quite colorful. The storyline is entertaining and moves at a steady pace. With clever misdirects,  Steven Tingle brings this suspenseful mystery to a very exciting conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Crooked Lane Books, Graveyard Fields, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Steven Tingle, Suspense