I rated this an A- as a crime novel but only a 6.5 as a literary endeavor. I like to think I understand what Silvis was trying to do but that it just didn’t quite cut it although it was almost.
Two Days Gone
by Randall Silvis
2017 / 400 pages
read by Graham Winton – 11h 1m
rating: – A – 6 / literary crime
The premise is that the wife and children of a professor novelist have been murdered and the novelist, Thomas Huston, is on the run. It seems that the novelist has gotten more than a little involved in the research for his new book and as Ryan DeMarco investigates the grizzly murder, he finds conflicting evidence as to Huston’s’ guilt. Meanwhile, in an occasional chapter scattered throughout, the point of view of Huston is addressed.
It’s a good book but a couple of aspects seem forced. First, the allusions and references are outright literary, while the language and tropes are perfect for a crime novel. That can be done but I think it’s difficult. Also, the plot at first seems like it is stretching itself into some more serious literary ideas what with how DeMarco and Huston (both literary people) think about what’s going on. A manuscript of Huston’s work in progress is found and DeMarco’s analysis of Huston’s character development for that in relation to the events and plot and real possible suspects is touched on as it might be evidence of the state of the Huston’s mind. Poe’s Annabel Lee is a motif.
All that stops at some point and the forced bad-guy stuff starts. It never seems quite natural. I’ve read a lot of crime novels and this goes beyond my comfort zone in terms of language and actions – or described actions. This part is towards the end.
It’s okay – overall some nice escapist fare – I’ll read a second if it ever comes out.