Review: Death Falls by Todd Ritter

51sonypf9kl-sx316-sy316Publication Date: August 1, 2011

Synopsis:
Charlie Olmstead disappeared on the same night Neil Armstrong walked the moon. It marked his family and his town. All that could be found was his bike at the bottom of a waterfall.

Years later, his brother is determined to fulfill his mother’s dying wish and find Charlie. Working with the current sheriff, Kat Campbell, he discovers that Charlie’s disappearance was his mother’s obsession – and it might have been the first in a string of disappearances.

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Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Date Read: January 21, 2018

Thoughts:
This was one of the books I received from NetGalley when I first started my blog and went a little crazy with the requests. When 2018 rolled around, I knew that I had to clear through old galleys they I didn’t want anymore, and I ended up with a handful of books I was still interested in. This one still managed to grab my attention, so I kept it – and I’m so glad I did.

Once I started the book, I flew through the first half in two sittings. I even put off my homework to read more of this. I kicked myself for not reading this sooner, but when I found out that the author hadn’t published anything since 2014, I didn’t feel as bad.

The plot takes a bit to get into, but once you get past the first 60 or so pages, the story really begins to pick up. The mystery gets intense and you get to see from different perspectives how the whole things unfolds. Having the multiple POVs helped the story because there was no way we could’ve gotten as much out of the story if we had only seen from one character.

If you’ve followed me for awhile or have seen some of my other mystery reviews, you’ll know that it’s pretty hard for me to get surprised by mysteries because of the number I’ve read over the years. However, this was one of the mysteries that kept me engaged and in suspense until the end. I was very impressed with how well it threw me off and had me convinced that I was right. All the while, it was working to a bigger story that I didn’t see fully until it was the perfect time for everything to come together.

The pacing in the beginning of the story could’ve been faster, but once the story got going, it kept rolling. I enjoyed how fast-paced it was and how much we got to see in the short time-span. I love it when a mystery takes off – as long as I have all the information I need to keep up.

When I got to the end of the story, I sat back and stared at my iPad, which I had been using to read the book. My roommate looked at me and asked if I was okay. All I could tell her was that I was not expecting things to end the way they did. It was in the best way possible, and I loved the ending. I was so happy that something I kept for so long was able to surprise me after all this time and that I made the right decision in keeping the galley.

Character(s):
I really liked Kat as a character. The only thing that I got annoyed by was the trope of “small woman is super intimidating and all the men fear her.” As much as I can relate to that, it’s such an overdone trope and I’m over it. But everything else – her devotion to her career and her son, her keen senses, and how realistic it felt to watch her balance life and work – I thought was very well done.

Eric, Charlie’s brother, was a good character to be introduced to. I liked him enough that I was interested in seeing where his storyline would end up. By the end of the book, I could say that I was really pleased with him.

There’s a PI who started a charity, I’m pretty sure his name is Nick, who I really liked too. I liked that his friendship with Kat was platonic and solid. His background brought a whole new level of emotion to the story, and I thoroughly enjoyed that.

Overall:
5 stars. I highly recommend this book as a standalone. It’s part of a trilogy, but really, you don’t have to read anything else.

Acknowledgements:
Thank you to NetGalley for hosting this on your site. Thank you also to Avon for approving my request to read this in exchange for an honest review.

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