An electrifying debut crime novel and the first in a new series featuring psychologist Harry Cull. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Peter May.
AN ABANDONED BODY
Deep in the woods of north-eastern Pennsylvania, the body of a man is found – shot three times, dumped under the trees where the local kids will find him.
A HAUNTED PSYCHOLOGIST
Psychologist Harry Cull, tormented by his past, arrives in the picturesque town of Ice Lake to help with the murder investigation. There he unravels a web of lies and deceit that leads to the dark heart of a community torn apart by fracking, drugs and murder.
The thriller starts with State Trooper Eric Cirba tracking down his old pal, Harry Cull. Harry is an ex-cop turned psychologist and Eric invites Harry to join him in the Pocono Mountains in North East Pennsylvania to assist him in finding Bill’s killer. Bill’s body was found shot three times in a local wood. Later, a second body is found which adds to the urgency to resolve the case.
In the books early chapters, you quickly gain an understanding of the location and characters. The descriptions written for both, make it easy to relate to, and visualise whilst reading. Several of the chapters have factual content at the start which really helps to build a picture and understanding of the area.
The key character – Harry Cull – is a likable character and is known for his expertise in solving crimes. You gain an understanding of Harry, his past, family and his detective role. There is banter between both Harry and Eric, which adds to the books entertainment.
The book also contains several key characters who are all easy to get to know. Including;
– Todd who owns the local cafe and warms to Harry.
– Major, who has and continues to work in real estate.
– Frank, who is Bill’s brother and also Harry’s landlord whilst he stays at the lake.
– MK, local nurse and Harry’s neighbor (and a romantic interest of Harry’s).
– Local Solicitor who deals with land conveyancing and other legal issues with the village characters.
With the murder based in the Pocono Mountain, there are some key issues which the book covers. The area contains valuable land, which has the potential to be sold raising substantial money, for fracking. Having friends who live, and have land, in this area of Pennsylvania, I become very interested in reading and learning of these issues.
Other issues covered include drugs and the mafia. The author has covered these issues in a light and understandable way. Issues which could have made for very heavy and difficult reading were made very easy to read.
What does become difficult to unravel (almost impossible) as in most crime thrillers are the lies and deceit behind the characters alibi.. Who is telling the truth? What is everyone hiding? But will you guess the killer and motive?
This book is suited to those who enjoy reading “who done it” thrillers. The tempo of the book is easy paced, the story unravels at a slow pace and is balanced between the issues, getting to know the characters and solving the murders.
It’s a enjoyable debut thriller, that has set the scene and provides great opportunity for the next in the series. There is so much more to Harry and I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series.