Wednesday, February 12, 2014

More of a Character Study Than a Murder Mystery

It's the dead of winter in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. Danny, a gentle, mentally challenged man, brings a bird he carved to his friend Mindy for her fortieth birthday. When he enters her trailer, he finds her lying on the floor dead. Being found beside the dead woman, Danny becomes the main suspect. He escapes and a manhunt through the frozen forest ensues setting off a string of progressively more violent incidents.

I thought the book would be about finding the real murderer. However, the author tells us almost immediately who killed her. Since we know who committed the murder, this isn't a typical murder mystery. However, the chase through the woods brings together an interesting cast of characters: the aging Sheriff, his violent deputy, an alcoholic State Police Officer, Danny, and the people he works for at the laundromat.

The author moves from one character to another so we see the unfolding action from a variety of perspectives. Danny is perhaps the most unusual character. The author did a good job of showing us the world through the eyes of a mentally challenged man. The other characters are well drawn, but more stereotypical.

The pace is fast and the book is not long so it's easy to get through it quickly. I recommend the book for the characters. The plot is not strong and the level of violence can make it hard to read. If you're not a fan of violent scenes, this may not be your book.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley