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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Two Days Gone: A Novel


Toward the end of spring semester, I started devouring any murder mysteries or thrillers that I had languishing on my TBR shelf from past Book Expos. The students in my childhood development also shared a fondness for murder and mayhem, so I powered through a bunch of them to share with them on the last day of class. They were thrilled. One of these was Randall Silvis's Two Days Gone.

Thomas Huston is a celebrated author with a beautiful wife, three kids, and a university job. One night his whole family is slaughtered in their beds, and Thomas ends up on the run. Detective DeMarco, who had known Huston as a friend, takes up the case with suspicions about the claim that Huston is a murder. When DeMarco finds the notes and early writings of Huston's next novel, he proceeds down a rabbit hole that brings out a host of suspects, unclear motivations, and a path that leads to a broken man who lost his family and may only live long enough to avenge them.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book and the story that it told. It was one of those that I wished I had picked up earlier, because I found I quite enjoyed reading it. I was recommending it right and left after finishing it because I was just so impressed at the character development as well as the story arc. Silvis writes compelling characters who are deep and intriguing, and I found myself liking just about everyone save for the whole murder-like person. He peels back the layers of each character like an onion, slowly revealing who they are to the reader so that they never appear just one dimensional or as stock characters. Even the killer, who surprised me, was not just a singular bad guy, but rather full of intrigue and an interesting choice for the story.

Silvis also weaves together an intriguing story that isn't entirely predictable but doesn't shift on a dime. I wasn't able to predict the ending, but then again, I wasn't inhaling the book so that I could get to it. There was something incredibly intriguing about the journey to get to the end of the story, and that made this book different than other thriller's I have read recently. I enjoyed the entire process of reading this story instead of wanting to get to the end so that I could reach a satisfying climax. One of the reasons why is that the end isn't a satisfying climax, but more of a lull in a much larger story. Just because we know who killed the Huston's doesn't mean that justice was served or that anyone in the story gets to live a happy ending. Just as in real life, the end doesn't work that way. We all just keep on moving forward, regardless of whether or not loose ends get tied up.

This was a story well worth reading, and I'm glad that I was able to sink my teeth into it during a restful spell in my crazy life. It was a good choice after proposing my dissertation when I wanted a good story that would intrigue me but didn't necessarily need me to dig deep into my knowledge center to make sense of the content. Instead, I was able to be simply intrigued and surprised, and this book was perfect. 

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