A Season to Kill

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A week into his new post, Sheriff Chris DeAngelo has more on his plate than he plans when a Macon, Pennsylvania, local and highly suspected meth dealer suddenly vanishes. Initially figuring that the case is drug related, Chris begins to wonder if it has any probable connection to an eleven-year period of unexplained disappearances—all strangely occurring in the month of December. Chris’ sleuthing not only unwittingly opens a Pandora’s box into the unsolved cases of ten missing people, but also unearths the ugly truth behind his seemingly unsuspecting childhood borough.

First-time author Michael Mucci spins a story shrouded in deception. Designed with a hard-boiled edge to it, Mucci’s first-person narrative features Chris DeAngelo, a man whose past and personality peg him as an underachiever. It doesn’t help that his self-perception is that of “a half-drunk loser.” Mucci surrounds his well-developed principal character with an equally well-developed foiled cast (including his close childhood friends) who either tactfully or tactlessly reminds him of his limitations. Regardless of the patronizing tone and personal problems, Chris determines to piece together a flurry of puzzling and ostensibly unrelated evidence.

Throwing in one red herring after another, Mucci does an excellent job keeping readers engaged as they, too, are trying desperately to identify the plot’s villains. Carefully weaving in possible clues, Mucci’s approach to storytelling is nothing less than unnerving. A combination of a humble small town ambiance and a laid-back cast, Mucci’s fictional setting offers miniscule amounts of anticipated behind-the-scene situations. Mucci instead focuses the bulk of his narrative on dialogue, Chris’ relationships with close friends, and Chris’ brainstorming amid ongoing investigations. Holding to a continual undercurrent of tension from chapter to chapter, Mucci slowly but ultimately builds to a nail-biting climax.

Kudos to Mucci for creating a brilliantly written and truly suspenseful debut novel! Indubitably, A Season to Kill is not only earmarked to be a highly popular and best-selling read, but also one story that this reviewer would love to see on the Silver Screen.

Reviewed By:

Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 310 pages
Publisher Rook Publishing
Publish Date 01-Apr-2015
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue November 2015
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller


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