Death Falls by Todd Ritter
Publisher: HarperCollins, Maze (2015)
Sometimes, you have to try something new. I, who likes fantasy, fantasy and more fantasy, was going to read this mystery/detective book. Even though I love detective television series, I’ve never read a proper detective novel. My parents love them, and at home the bookshelves are always stacked with never-ending series of the most famous mystery authors. Among all the David Baldaccis and Agatha Christies I just haven’t been able to get gripped. So, that all changed with my review request of this book in Netgalley. Half hoping that my request would be declined anyway, I didn’t really know what to think when I actually received access to a copy of Death Falls.
So with lead in my shoes I started reading. And wow, what I great book! My nerves for a boring, predictable read were for no reason. From page one I was captivated by the story.
Death falls brings us to the little town of Perry Hollow, where a nine-year-old boy goes missing on the same night men set foot on the moon in 1969. Charlie’s bike is found on top of a waterfall and the worst is assumed. His body, however, is never recovered. Forty years later his mother dies and her last wish is to find certainty in the case. Eric, Charlie’s older brother, teams up with cold case specialist Nick and Perry Hollow’s police chef Kat to elucidate the happenings of that one fatal night.
For the ones to whom this sounds awkwardly familiar, Death Falls has been previously (in 2011) published as Bad Moon by Minotaur Books. I’m not really sure why both the publisher and the title changed, but anyway…
The storyline itself is terrific, not a dull moment to be found. I loved the characters, they are so real and deep. Throughout the book we are being fed pieces of the puzzle, just enough to keep us from starving, and not that much that it becomes predictable. And while the story is actually mind-blowingly sad, I felt compassion for all of the characters. The writing is absolutely excellent, probably the best of all Netgalley books that I have been privileged to receive so far.
Apparently there are more books in the series (this was supposed to be number 2! I know, I only found out afterwards, so no problem if you haven’t read the first part). I’m adding them right now to my to-read list! And as soon as I’ll need a gift for my book-loving friends or parents, I’ll know which author to look for. But for my parents it’ll need to be in Dutch, so hopefully the translation will be out soon (or otherwise I could do it? Hint for the author ^^)
Final rating: ★★★★★
*** I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review ***