Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Review: One of Us by Tawni O'Dell

Dr. Sheridan Doyle, a fastidiously groomed and TV-friendly forensic psychologist, is the go-to shrink for the Philadelphia District Attorney's office whenever a twisted killer's mind eludes other experts. But beneath his Armani pinstripes, he's still Danny Doyle, the awkward, terrified, bullied boy from a blue-collar mining family, plagued by panic attacks and haunted by the tragic death of his little sister and mental unraveling of his mother years ago.

Returning to a hometown grappling with its own ghosts, Danny finds a dead body at the infamous Lost Creek gallows where a band of rebellious Irish miners was once executed. Strangely, the body is connected to the wealthy family responsible for the miners' deaths. Teaming up with veteran detective Rafe, a father-like figure from his youth, Danny, in pursuit of a killer, comes dangerously close to startling truths about his family, his past, and himself.

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: August 19th 2014 by Gallery Books
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Kristine's Thoughts:

I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This book is a story of one town, Lost Creek, and the history of its people going back over one hundred years. It is one of those stories where the past impacts the present and plays an important role in the events that occur.

Danny Doyle grew up poor with an abusive father and a bi-polar mother who was convicted of killing his baby sister and burying her in the back yard when he was only five. He rose above his less than ideal childhood to become a very successful forensic psychologist in Philadelphia, tackling the minds of numerous serial killers. He is called back to his home town to check up on his elderly grandfather and finds a dead body at the site of the towns most famous and historical place.

This book does not read like a typical mystery or thriller. The reader learns who the killer is early on and gets to view the events through his/her eyes. There is no question as to "who" did it but more a question of what the connection is. I even found that to be easy to figure out. In fact, before the mid point in the book I knew the connection and what the hidden secrets were. I'm not sure if this was intentional on the authors part or if I am just good at guessing. Having said that, there were a few loose ends that I didn't have figured out that come to light later in the book.

This book is more a story about secrets, lies and deception as well as how events from the past play a key role in the lives of one poor mining community. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the town and the "Nellies" although I do wish that there was a little more of the back story because I found it to be the most interesting.

This book was not the "edge of you seat" psychological thriller that I was hoping for but it was an entertaining read. O'Dell pens the small mining community with such vivid detail that I felt each part of it with each turn of the page. Although this story was a little bit slower moving it was still a very solid read.

About the Author

 Tawni was born and raised in the coal-mining region of western Pennsylvania, the territory she writes about with such striking authenticity. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and spent many years living in the Chicago area before moving back to Pennsylvania where she now lives with her two children.

Connect with Tawni


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