Mar 3, 2014

Review: One of Us

One of Us
One of Us by Tawni O'Dell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book description:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Back Roads comes a fast-paced literary thriller about a forensic psychologist forced to face his own demons after discovering his small hometown terrorized by a serial killer.

Dr. Sheridan Doyle a fastidiously groomed and TV-friendly forensic psychologist is the go-to shrink for the Philadelphia District Attorney's office whenever a twisted killer's mind eludes other experts. But beneath his Armani pinstripes, still Danny Doyle, the awkward, terrified, bullied boy from a blue-collar mining family, plagued by panic attacks and haunted by the tragic death of his little sister and mental unraveling of his mother years ago.

Returning to a hometown grappling with its own ghosts, Danny finds a dead body at the infamous Lost Creek gallows where a band of rebellious Irish miners was once executed. Strangely, the body is connected to the wealthy family responsible for the miners' deaths. Teaming up with veteran detective Rafe, a father-like figure from his youth, Danny in pursuit of a killer comes dangerously close to startling truths about his family, his past, and himself.

In this masterfully told psychological thriller in the vein of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, the past and present collide to put Lost Creek's long-lived ghosts to bed.

Moon Shine Art Spot's review:

I literally could not put this book down until I finished it. (Between chores & family it did still take 2 days). I absolutely can not say enough good about this fast paced thrill ride. I am very grateful to have received this copy from the publisher for an honest review. I immediately liked Dr. Doyle (Danny). He had a certain self depreciating quality about his past of growing up in a small mining town with a mentally ill mother who'd been in prison for murdering his baby sister and his abusive father. He was lucky to have an awesome grandfather who he went to when his dad was drunk & a policeman in town who took him under his wing when he was a child.

I love all of the brain / mental health diagnosis talk and Danny's manner with people. He has never felt that he fit in in the small mining town & several generations down the list of a huge scandal / ghost story between the rich mining family & the rebellious Nellie's who were hung there long ago. He grew up on the stories his grandfather told him about his ancestor hanging.

Danny is simply returning to check on his 90 something year old grandpa & has no idea what adventures he & Lost Creek will endure throughout his visit. Once the killing starts the tangled web to deceive, which has been building for decades, involves the Nellies', their later generations, some old ghosts, and many uncovered secrets that get even more killed. This book is well worth the read if you love suspense & mystery. When you have it figured out, here comes another twist.

The story is expertly written portraying the characters as real, likeable - or unlike able characters in many situations. Even the psychotic characters get a smudge if sympathy from me at times & then go mess it up. Haha.

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