Genre: Fiction; Mystery
Publication Date: 10 January 2017
“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?
My Thoughts: From the opening paragraph, it is apparent that Two Days Gone is not the typical pulp murder mystery. The language is erudite and thoughtful; as my husband said, Mr. Silvis “uses a lot of big words.” While this might be intimidating to some readers, it means the descriptions are richer, fuller, and more vibrant than in your typical mystery. It means the characters are more fully developed, and your investment in them that much more vested. It means everything about the story is just more, and it creates an amazing story.
The Huston family tragedy makes for very difficult reading. Mr. Silvis does not mince words when it comes to the details of the murders, and the fact that some of the descriptions involve violence to children makes it particularly brutal. However, this same attention to detail makes Tom’s suffering palpable. His pain is visceral and raw and furthers the reader’s already considerable discomfort. This may mean it is a trigger book for some, but it also means it is a very real story.
Between the compelling mystery behind the tragedy and the simple beauty of the words, Two Days Gone is a fantastic story, well worth the pain and discomfort some of the scenes cause. Tom’s love for his family is a joy to behold all while furthering the pain of his losses. There is the added interest of Ryan’s research into Tom’s writing process, which is thoughtful and intriguing in its own right without the added insights into Tom’s life they bring. The mystery’s believable resolution furthers the tragic nature of the story, but the novel ends upon a note of hope that lifts the entire story out of its overarching gloom and reminds readers that life is still worth living in spite of the tragedies that befall us.