Elegant, beautiful Claire O’Patchen Huston is murdered one night, along with her three children, Thomas Jr., Alyssa, and David. The prime suspect? Claire’s husband, Thomas, who goes on the run just after the murders. Once a man in high standing in the community, Thomas almost immediately becomes a despised outcast, and the manhunt for Thomas infects a town that only weeks before had held him in the highest regard. Two Days Gone is a quiet, intense, suspenseful mystery about a man who has lost everything. Rich with descriptions and atmosphere, the novel takes place in a quiet Pennsylvania town in the “season of surliness,” a cold, bleak winter, after the aforementioned series of brutal murders captures the attention of the public. In the manhunt that follows, there remains the question of who can be trusted, and whether the story the press has already concocted about the crime is even the right question.
The two main characters, Sergeant Ryan DeMarco and Thomas Huston, serve as foils throughout the novel. DeMarco is an alcoholic with an estranged wife, while Huston is a revered college professor and novelist. The lives of the two men clash spectacularly in Two Days Gone as DeMarco strives to solve the mystery in which Huston is the prime suspect. Each man has his secrets and his demons, and as the novel goes on, it becomes increasingly clear that the men are hauntingly similar. They are not strangers, either: DeMarco helped Huston with some details about police work in aid of one of Huston’s latest novels, and the two had developed a rapport only a few months prior to the crime and pursuit. While DeMarco had always envied Huston’s family life, he soon finds himself in a position where, like the rest of the town, he becomes increasingly desperate to understand the depth of the tragedy that befell the Huston family. Two Days Gone is relentless in its suspense, and the final twists in the novel are sure to not disappoint.
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