Book Review: Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis

I don’t read a lot of crime (except for J D Robb books, because I’m seriously addicted) because I find so much of it is obvious and poorly written – either too gory, or too subtle. But Two Days Gone came highly recommended and when I gave it a go I found I couldn’t put it down.

It’s the story of Prof. Thomas Huston, who is currently wandering in the wilderness in bare feet and shock after his family have all been brutally slaughtered. Sergeant Ryan DeMarco, still dealing with the breakdown of his own family, is called in to investigate and has trouble reconciling the brutality with the calm, clever professor he knows.

As the story progresses, Huston gets deeper into the woods and DeMarco gets deeper into his life. It becomes impossible to tell what elements of Huston are real and which are research for his latest novel. Every new lead dissolves as more and more characters are introduced until the reader is as confused and lost as both Huston and DeMarco are.

The end of the book comes crashing down with unexpected endings (of stories, families, and lives) all round. It keeps you on your toes until the very last few pages and leaves a restless unease over the impermanence of life and love.

The book, Silvis’ thirteenth novel, is due out in January next year and all in all is a masterful effort at bringing together literature and suspense. DeMarcos backstory is beautifully rendered and demonstrates the range of reactions that occur with the death of a child. Huston’s dissociation is written with grace, believable and tragic and perfect for the story. You will not see the end coming, and the story builds and builds, making this book one you will not put down until it is over.

PS: A bit of a warning, though – it’s really dark in some places and quite graphic, so trigger warning for the gruesome deaths of small children described in intimate detail.

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