Genre: Adult Mystery/ Thriller Fiction
Pages: Print 328
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Author: Matthew Sullivan
Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a copy I purchased on my own. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.
When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind. Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.
But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s upper room, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?
As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop, and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago and, as she soon discovers, never completely left.
The cover of this book is what caught my attention. This book focuses on the story of Lydia Smith, a longtime bookseller. Lydia has a passion for reading and during her time at her job she has built friendships with members of the community. The story opens with Lydia working a night shift at the bookstore, following the completion of the closing procedures she notices a missing patron. Lydia also hears a noise that doesn’t sound too promising. Lydia finds the absent customer, but when she locates him, he isn’t alive. A longtime regular customer has hung himself in the Western fiction section of the bookstore. As she struggles to come to terms with the customer’s sudden suicide, to make matters worse, she finds something sticking out of his pocket that somehow connects her to him. Lydia must unravel a new mystery while also digging up a past she has tried so hard to forget. With the help of an old friend, she uncovers more than what she bargained. In this whodunit-style mystery novel, the author continues to litter the pages with turns and twist at every page as you try to uncover the truth.
Matthew Sullivan did an excellent job with the suspense in this novel. However, I would have liked a bit more added to the end of the story and more of a backstory on the main character’s history. Also, a few parts of the story felt a bit too dramatized for my taste, and I would have liked a more realistic approach to the interactions between Raj, Lydia’s old friend, and Lydia. This book is excellent for fans of mystery novels and older teens. The violent scenes are mild, but it can be a traumatic read for some. The authors take a tame approach to describing the challenging scenes that involve murder. For victims of suicide, this book has triggers as it tries to dive into the reason why the customer, Joey, committed suicide. If you’re looking for a mystery with a lot of twists and turns, then pick up a copy of this novel.
To view purchasing options and other books written by this author, click this link https://www.matthewjsullivan.com
Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!
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