Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Book Review: 'Two Days Gone' by Randall Silvis

Thomas Huston is a beloved college professor, successful writer, devoted husband, and father of three beautiful children. In "Two Days Gone," by Randall Silvis, this much-admired individual is in shock when his family members are murdered. Did Huston have a dark side to his personality that he keeps carefully hidden? Or, if he committed no crime, why is he on the run? Tom had no obvious motive to harm his wife, daughter, and two sons, but the police still consider him a suspect. Sergeant Ryan DeMarco of the Pennsylvania State Police is on the case.

Silvis describes his characters in meticulous detail. The troubled DeMarco has been demoted to sergeant, is estranged from his wife, treats his young supervisor, Kyle Bowen, like a pesky kid brother, and uses whisky to calm his overactive mind. Although there is an obvious conflict of interest--Ryan and Tom are friends--the sergeant launches a search for Huston, who is hiding from the authorities. Ryan fears that if he does not locate Tom soon, the fugitive might harm himself. DeMarco wracks his brain trying to piece together what happened to Huston's family and why.

This author's effective use of setting, atmosphere, figurative language, psychological insight, and literary allusions lend depth to the story. We empathize with the suffering of those whose wounds are deep and long lasting. "Two Days Gone" is a poignant, heartbreaking, and desolate novel that has undeniable strengths. Unfortunately, as the narrative progresses, it becomes increasingly contrived and far-fetched, with illogical twists that leave us scratching our heads in bewilderment.

Editor's note: This review was written by Eleanor Bukowsky and has been reposted with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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