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Two Days Gone

Two Days Gone

4.3 7
by Randall Silvis

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"An absolute gem of literary suspense... told in a smooth, assured, and often haunting voice, Two Days Gone is a terrific read." —Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead

The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone now.

What could cause a


"An absolute gem of literary suspense... told in a smooth, assured, and often haunting voice, Two Days Gone is a terrific read." —Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead

The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone now.

What could cause a man, when all the stars of fortune are shining upon him, to suddenly snap and destroy everything he has built? This is the question that haunts Sergeant Ryan DeMarco after the wife and children of beloved college professor and bestselling author Thomas Huston are found slaughtered in their home. Huston himself has disappeared and so is immediately cast as the prime suspect.

DeMarco knows—or thinks he knows—that Huston couldn't have been capable of murdering his family. But if Huston is innocent, why is he on the run? And does the half-finished manuscript he left behind contain clues to the mystery of his family's killer?

A masterful new thriller by acclaimed author Randall Silvis, Two Days Gone is a taut, suspenseful story that will will break your heart as much as it will haunt your dreams.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
Silvis tells his parallel stories—of Huston's mad wanderings in the forest and DeMarco's reluctant dragnet—with finely tuned sensitivity.
Publishers Weekly
In this skillfully written thriller set in western Pennsylvania from Silvis (On Night’s Shore), Thomas Huston, a respected Shenango College professor and acclaimed author, appears to have murdered his wife, Claire, and their three children in their beds. Huston recently lost both his parents. Did he snap? Sgt. Ryan DeMarco, a state policeman and a friend of the suspect—who’s coping with his own personal tragedy—takes the case hoping to find some answers. On the Shenango campus, he meets a student, Nathan Briessen, who steers him to information about a novel that Huston was researching. Literary references to Nabokov and Poe, some meta-moments about characters and writers, fiction and truth, as well as DeMarco’s complicated relationship with his wife, Laraine, add seasoning to the plot. By alternating between Huston and DeMarco’s narratives, Silvis nimbly puzzles out what took place on the night of the multiple murders, and what it means to go on after a loss. Agent: Sandy Lu, L. Perkins Agency. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"An absolute gem of literary suspense, pitting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and told in a smooth, assured, and often haunting voice, Two Days Gone is a terrific read." - Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead

"Randall Silvis' Two Days Gone is a smart, twisting, vividly written thriller anchored by two deeply flawed yet fascinating protagonists. Yes, the novel provides cat-and-mouse suspense as a horrific murder in a college town is investigated, but it's also a deeply rewarding story about friendship, family, fame, and the complicated relationship between readers and writers. Anyone who wants to dismiss thrillers as mere genre fluff should read Two Days Gone." - David Bell, author of Since She Went Away

"Beneath the momentum of the investigation lies a pervasive sadness that will stick with you long after you've turned the last page." - Kirkus Reviews

"...impressive novel...an intriguing thriller." - Booklist

"...[a] skillfully written thriller." - Publishers Weekly

"...a suspenseful, literary thriller that will resonate with readers long after the book is finished. A terrific choice for Dennis Lehane fans." - Library Journal, Starred Review

"A gripping new literary thriller....The fact that this book will be marketed as genre fiction is misleading; it's more than that. It's literature posing as a mystery, like works from Attica Locke or Louise Penny. Two Days Gone will be one of the best reading investments you make this year. " - BookPage TOP PICK IN MYSTERY January 2017, and Top 10 Notable Book for its January 2017 reading list

"...this novel [will] linger in readers' minds well after Two Days Gone.
" - Shelf Awareness

"Two Days Gone is a quiet, intense, suspenseful mystery about a man who has lost everything. Rich with descriptions and atmosphere....Two Days Gone is relentless in its suspense, and the final twists in the novel are sure to not disappoint.
" - Foreword Review

"[a] chilly suspense novel.
" - The New York Times Sunday Book Review

Library Journal
★ 12/01/2016
This novel revolves around two men with nothing in common: one a famous writer and professor, the other a disheartened detective. Yet, a bond is formed between the pair that will be stretched to the breaking point. Sgt. Ryan DeMarco arrives at a horrific crime scene—Thomas Huston's butchered wife and children. All signs point to the disappeared professor as the murderer. DeMarco cannot accept that his friend would do something so evil, not when he seemed to love his family so much. DeMarco is a wonderfully flawed protagonist, barely keeping his head above water after losing his son years earlier. This loss has caused his life to spiral out of control, which is why he finds it so unbelievable that Huston snapped and threw all he had away. So what happened that night, and why is Huston on the run? As DeMarco traces the suspect's steps and delves into a half-finished manuscript Huston left behind, he starts to uncover a tangled web of lies, deceit, and wrongdoing. VERDICT Silvis (The Boy Who Shoots Crows) has given us a suspenseful, literary thriller that will resonate with readers long after the book is finished. A terrific choice for Dennis Lehane fans. [See Prepub Alert, 7/18/16.]—Marianne Fitzgerald, Severna Park H.S., MD
Kirkus Reviews
A Pennsylvania police officer digs deep, then still deeper, into the mystery of an inexplicably slaughtered family.Professor Thomas Huston seemed to have it all: a successful career as a novelist, a position as a popular teacher at Shenango College, a loving wife, and three children too young to have grown away from him yet. So why on earth would he have taken a razor to their throats before disappearing into the night? Why, even if he felt compelled to end their lives, would he have varied his technique for his baby son, stabbing him in the heart instead? And why, if he’s so determined to run away, does he keep hovering around the town, telephoning his friends only to read them poems by Edgar Allan Poe? Sgt. Ryan DeMarco counts himself as one of those friends, but he finds Huston’s behavior, whether or not he’s as guilty as he looks, as inexplicable as everyone else. Unlike everyone else, however, DeMarco can’t let go of these agonizing riddles. Still mourning the death of his own baby son in a car crash, he feels an uncanny kinship to Huston, an intimacy that deepens when he retraces the writer’s steps to Whispers, the strip club where Huston had cultivated owner Bonnie Harris and dancer Danni Reynolds as models for Annabel, the heroine of his latest novel. As DeMarco, who’s a lot better at butting heads with station commander Sgt. Kyle Bowen, the supervisor he used to supervise before his demotion, than at detective work, struggles to make sense of Huston’s behavior, Silvis (The Boy Who Shoots Crows, 2011, etc.) intercuts his inquiries with glimpses into Huston’s tantalizingly underspecified memories of the fatal night until the two men finally collide in the first of several memorable lurches into resolution. Beneath the momentum of the investigation lies a pervasive sadness that will stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

Product Details

Publication date:
Ryan DeMarco Mystery Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 4.70(d)

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Two Days Gone 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous 26 days ago
SO. Good. I could NOT put this book down! I enjoy a great thriller novel and this one did not disappoint.
wordsandpeace 4 months ago
Super suspenseful thriller enriched with a great reflection on the art of writing and the connection between the author and his characters. It’s cold at this time of the year around Lake Wilhelm, northern Pennsylvania. Yet Tom Huston, a famous and popular local novelist is hiding in the woods nearby. Until that day, his family seemed to be perfectly happy. His wife and his three children murdered, Tom was spotted in the street, totally confused, a bloody knife in his hand. Thus begins Tho Days Gone. This psychological thriller goes back and forth between Tom and sergeant Ryan DeMarco, a good friend of his. As in many other books in the same genre, this cop is not doing too well himself. His wife left him after the car accident that cost the life of their young son. So the Hustons’ tragedy hits home and doesn’t help Ryan to do his investigation in a detached way. It may even cause him to make some major and very dangerous mistakes… But his own wounds are also a great source of understanding and compassion. As Ryan tries to figure out what happened to Tom, he discovers his friend’s happiness was far from perfect. He had shadows in his past and for instance major sleep issues, related to the violent death of his parents. Believe it or not, I really enjoyed the character of Tom. As a novelist, he struggles with the fine line between reality and fiction (there are fabulous pages on the topic), sometimes seeing himself as a character in one of his novels. As Ryan goes further into his investigation, we discover many jealousies within the academic world, at the college where Tom was teaching. We meet also a special crowd of characters in a strip club: Tom had spent several evenings in one, as research background for the character of Annabel (based on Lolita) in his upcoming novel – entitled D, with 4 parts, like Two Days Gone itself. But was it the only reason he frequented that type of places? Lolita is only one of many literary references: Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Yeats, Samuel Butler, etc. Some chapters, like 49, were crazy suspenseful! And when you think you are done and you finally know all there was to the story, you are in for more extra twists! The one thing I really didn’t like was the unnecessary multitude of f* words. I’m glad there were not many at the very beginning and the book really grabbed me from the start. Otherwise I would have stopped, like I did with a very famous and supposedly great writer. Feeling assaulted with twenty f* words in the first couple of pages, I decided I would not read his book. If you are great at the art of writing, you should be able to find some variations on the theme. If your characters have such limited vocabulary, no thanks, I’ll go meet other more interesting people.
Iamlilu 6 months ago
Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis 4,5 Stars Two Days Gone is a psychological thriller. This is not my usual genre but the synopsis and the premise intrigued me. The story takes place in a small town in northwestern Pennsylvania, an area that I am familiar with and therefore a comfort zone which, I think, contributed to how I felt about Sargent Ryan DeMarco and Professor Huston. DeMarco is a detective with multiple personal problems, alcohol abuse and a deteriorating career while Dr. Thomas Huston is a university professor and renowned author. I was totally drawn to Detective DeMarco and Professor Thomas Huston from the start. I got to know the characters slowly with each turning page. What is critical is that both of these men knew each other both professionally and personally. Detective DeMarco knew about crime, motives and he has the investigative and intuitive skills to solve his cases. He was methodical in his methods as he did not jump to conclusions nor did he rule out the obvious. Professor Huston, on the other hand, is a master storyteller of crime, passion and attuned to the fine details of the commission of crime and escape. He researched thoroughly by picking the brain of DeMarco in all aspects of crime and investigation. I guess you could say he learned from the best. This is indeed a cat and mouse game of hide and seek between these two men. DeMarco is faced with the possibility that his friend, is indeed, guilty of the most heinous crime imaginable and he has to find him and bring him to justice. DeMarco reminded me a little bit of Ironsides, Matlock and Columbo all rolled into one with his intuition, deduction and observation skills. Huston is a mastermind of crime, albeit, in books; but his research with DeMarco was thorough and it has paid off as he knows what to expect AND how to avoid capture. The game has begun… The barebones of the characters of DeMarco and Huston are quickly defined and are gradually developed throughout the story giving each character a multi dimensional and layered feel. Much of the this goes on inside their heads…the author put me inside their brain. I knew what they knew…or at least I thought I did. It was uncanny and admittedly, a bit scary and unnerving. The characters are, by far, the driving force of this book. The story is fast paced and I found myself quickly turning each page. References to Edgar Allan Poe and Nabokov’s Lolita added literary flair like icing on a cake. I felt I was brought into the story and actively participated by going back and fourth between DeMarco and Huston. I was in a quandary…in a way, rooting for both DeMarco and Huston. When an author can do that to you, it is phenomenal. The story is filled with false leads, twists and turns that it constantly keeps you on guard and guessing. The ending was totally unexpected…
CathyGeha 6 months ago
Told from the perspective of two men – one on the run and the other searching for him – the book was filled with suspense, mystery and darkness. Ryan DeMarco is the policeman on the case and also a friend, of sorts, to the man on the run - Thomas Huston . The murder of Huston’s entire family has caused him a bit of disassociation and a great deal of mental trauma – it has also created a target for him that he is intent on finding and also made him into a target. DeMarco spends his time trying to figure out the clues that will determine whether or not Huston was the perpetrator or a victim, too. The novel was long, detailed, and filled with characters, backstories and descriptions. It was a good story but not the best of this genre that I have read. There were a few surprises that made me lift the rating from a three to a four because I do like a book that makes me think or surprises me. My inability to relate to either DeMarco or Huston may have impacted my enjoyment of the book although it was well plotted and crafted. Thank you to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOK Landmarks for the ARC. This is my honest review. 3.5 Stars
alterlisa 6 months ago
I started this book a bit hesitantly as I'd read it was told from two POVs. I hate books told in alternating POVs so I was blown away when I realized that for a change this aspect didn't annoy the crap out of me. This book is dark, very dark and the viciousness of the murders were very disturbing, however, the story was so darn captivating that I read it in two sittings. I love a book that can keep me guessing until almost the very end. I wasn't sure of Huston's guilt or innocence and keep swinging in first one direction and then another. The police detective, DeMarco was as fascinating and engrossing as Huston. There were so many facets in his personality that I'm not sure which character, Huston or DeMarco, was more fascinating. The secondary characters were as well flushed out as the main characters and you find yourself weighing each to see if one of them could have possibly killed the Huston family. There are several twists and turns in this story that keeps you clutching your book for dear life and unable to go to bed until you read just a bit more. Just one more chapter and then one more till you realize you been up all night. At first, I thought this was a standalone novel but I kept seeing it listed as a Ryan Demarco Mystery so I sure hope we see more of this awesome detective or I'm really going to be disappointed.
BuckeyeAngel 7 months ago
Well liked college professor and famous author Thomas Houston had turned to State Trooper Ryan DeMarco for police procedure for one of his novels The two men had become friends over the course of many meetings on this research. Then Thomas’s in laws go to his house and find their daughter and their three grandchildren one only a baby brutally murdered with Thomas no place to be found. Then it comes to light the last time Thomas was seen was walking down the road with a knife in his hand. So Thomas becomes the main suspect in these horrible murders. Ryan is given the investigation and starts the hunt to find Thomas. But Ryan finds it hard to believe Thomas did this. Ryan believed that Thomas cherished his family and had everything a man could ask for. It shows that Thomas did have his own demons: his mother was murdered while being in a hold up in their own store. Then Thomas's father committed suicide shortly thereafter as he couldn’t live without Thomas’s mother. The memories never really leave Thomas. Ryan understood how one night could tear your life apart when he , his wife, and their son had been in a terrible car accident ten years ago. Ryan and his wife survived but not their child. Ryan’s wife blamed Ryan and left him and was never the same nor was Ryan. One of Thomas’s students - Nathan- gave insight to what Thomas’s new novel was about. It was also proven Thomas didn’t murder his family as he was at work on his new novel. Ryan does look into other suspects while looking for Thomas. While on the run from the police Thomas alternated from the horror of what happened to his family to a shocked distance as he tries to track his course as if he were part of his novel. But Thomas is also desperately looking for food and shelter and someone he can trust. Ryan does find Thomas’s notes on his new novel and Ryan thinks he might know where Thomas is headed. I did enjoy this story a lot even though it was pretty dark. The writing was good. The characters seemed real and you felt like you were there with them. This had a very good plot. Although I will say the story dragged at times but for the most part that wasn’t the case. I didn’t like where Thomas was thinking about the oral sex he would never get again from his wife. Just didn’t really fit him or the story as far as I am concerned. But for the most part I really enjoyed this. I kept coming up with different scenarios and killers but I was wrong so you had to keep reading if only to find out who killed Thomas’s family and why.So i really liked the ins and outs of this story and I recommend.
ReadingGrrl 7 months ago
This is a book that keeps you guessing, just when you think you have it figured out you find out more information that leads you down a different path. I can usually always figure out movies or books but this one had me guessing. This is a dark book but the ending left me satisfied. This book alternates between being told by Huston whose family was brutally murdered and DeMarco the broken cop who hasn't been able to move forward since the death of his son. Both of these broken men take us on a very dark and brilliantly written path toward answers, though the answers for each may be different they both find their own sense of peace in the end. Wonderfully done.