Tuesday, May 15, 2018

How It Happened

How It Happened by Michael Koryta
Little, Brown and Company: 5/15/18
eBook review copy; 688 pages
ISBN-13: 9780316293938

How It Happened by Michael Koryta is a highly recommended murder mystery.

The novel opens in Port Hope, Maine, with Kimmie Crepeaux confessing to Rob Barrett, an FBI investigator and interrogation specialist, how Jackie Pelletier and Ian Kelly died and where to find their bodies. She also names the killer - local respected caretaker Mathias Burke. Kimmie claims Mathias forced her and her friend Cass Odom to assist him. Kimmie tells Barrett everything that happened in exact details. The problem is Cass is dead from an overdose and the bodies can't be found where Kimmie swears they should be found. All of this increasingly points to her unreliability as a witness. Kimmie is a heroin addict who already has a reputation for committing petty crimes.

As the search for the bodies continues, Barrett's reputation is on the line. He spent summers in Port Hope with his grandfather, and apparently had an antagonistic relationship with the suspect Mathias Burk.  Barrett believes Kimmie, but when all the evidence points to her lying, his reputation and career suffer.  However, Jackie Pelletier's father, Howard, still wants answers and pleads with Barrett to resume his investigation.

In How It Happened Koryta has written a compelling psychological study and gripping murder mystery. This is a engrossing plot populated by well-developed characters. The quality of the writing is great; Koryta delivers expressive prose, and an unpredictable, intricate plot full of dark secrets. The character development is amazing. These are all wounded, flawed individuals who are struggling with their own secret inner turmoil and their personal backgrounds. This would be an excellent page-turning choice for summer reading.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Little, Brown and Company via Netgalley.

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