Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bad Moon by Todd Ritter


Todd Ritter introduced Perry Hollow Police Chief Kat Campbell and Lieutenant Nick Donnelly from the Pennsylvania State Police in his debut thriller, Death Notice. Now, in Bad Moon, Nick investigates cold cases for his family foundation. His life has changed. What hasn’t changed is that Kat and Nick still make a powerful investigative team. And, Bad Moon, the story of their latest case, is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

On July 20, 1969, the night Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, ten-year-old Charlie Olmstead disappeared. Kat’s father, the police chief of Perry Hollow at the time, and the townspeople, concluded he rode his bike to Sunset Falls to see the moon, and fell to his death. But, Charlie’s mother, Maggie, never accepted that. And, when she died forty-two years later, she left her son Eric with one request. Find your brother.

When Eric Olmstead, a bestselling mystery author, hired Nick Donnelly to find out what happened to his brother, Nick enlisted Kat’s help. But, no one, not Kat, nor Nick, nor Eric, expected to find what Maggie left behind.  She left behind news stories that indicated Charlie Olmstead might not have been the only young boy to mysteriously disappear in Pennsylvania in the late sixties and early seventies. For forty-two years, someone on a small cul-de-sac in Perry Hollow may have harbored secrets about Charlie Olmstead’s disappearance. It’s a secret that haunted the street for decades. Now three investigators face the consequences of those secrets.

A year ago, I praised Todd Ritter’s character development, with interesting relationships and the complications of a police chief, a working mother with a special needs child. I can’t praise him enough for his characters, and the juxtaposition of the stories of two young boys. Ritter’s characters are realistic, with all the complexity of human nature.

Once again, Ritter has created an intricate, riveting story with twists that will challenge most readers.  Don’t feel as if you have to go back and read Death Notice. Bad Moon is a gripping story, complete in itself. And, anyone who thinks all thrillers or mysteries are the same, needs to try this book. Bad Moon will be on my list of the best mysteries of 2011.

Todd Ritter’s website is www.toddritteronline.com

Bad Moon by Todd Ritter. St. Martin’s Minotaur. ©2011. ISBN 9780312622817 (hardcover), 358p.

13 comments:

Marce said...

I just got Death Notice so look forward to reading that one. I'm excited that this will be on your best list this year, I may get to it. Sounds exciting.

Kay said...

I already have both DEATH NOTICE and BAD MOON on my Kindle. So happy to hear your praise of this one. I always sit up and take notice when you mention a "best of" read.

Things OK with you? Hope all is well. Send me an email if you want to visit. :-)

Lesa said...

Terrific books, Marce. I liked Death Notice, but Bad Moon is even better. Tighter plot. Great characters.

Lesa said...

Definitely a best of 2011, Kay.

Things are great, personally. Off to the dentist shortly for a permanent crown. I'll email you later today!

Karen C said...

WOW - What a recommendation. Will definitely have to check both of them out. Thanks.

Sheila Beaumont said...

Sounds great! I've just ordered Death Notice.

Sandie Herron said...

Sure sounds like I'd like to read that now Lesa! The first thing that caught my interest was that I was 11 when Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon, so I identified with the boy right away. I stayed up late and I had always wanted to be an astronaut. So that pulled me in straight away. The rest sounds pretty good too.

I'll have to check his website as well since I must admit I've never heard of him. You know the old saying - so many books (authors), so little time. And if you say it's that good, well, I'm gonna read it too!

Nancy said...

Bad Moon sounds gripping. I remember that night so clearly - looking up at the moon and trying to imagine what it would be like to walk on it, in absolute awe of what was taking place up there. So, this book is now on my TBR list. Thanks once again for your review!

jenny milchman said...

I'm so happy to see Todd's second book showcased in this wonderful place--he's so deserving and I hope many new readers discover his work!

Lesa said...

Thanks, everyone! Definitely a good book. I'm glad he's now on your radar. This is a terrific series. And, Nick's foundation leaves a lot of room for future books.

Liz V. said...

Definitely following your lead on this. Thanks.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Liz. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

bookdout said...

This sounds great! Thanks for sharing your review.

Shelleyrae @ Book'd out