The wintertime disappearance of six-year-old Cody Forrand in rural Idyll, Conn., drives Gayle’s absorbing sequel to 2015’s Idyll Threats. Former NYPD homicide detective Thomas Lynch, the state’s only gay police chief, must act fact fast, since Cody has a rare nervous system disorder that makes him unable to feel pain, and the police and Cody’s parents are worried that the boy may freeze to death. As Thomas and his team begin to dig into Cody’s family, some odd things begin to surface. FBI agents join the hunt, including one who’s dangerously attractive to Thomas. Can they find Cody before it’s too late? Gayle does a fine job of capturing small-town life, and Lynch, who narrates, is droll and very private, which is hard to be in a place where everyone knows everybody else’s business. Fans of the first book will be delighted, and newcomers will find a new favorite. Agent: Ann Collette, Rees Literary Agency. (Sept.)
One of the best books we have read this year.”
—The Strand Magazine
“Outstanding. . . . I am looking forward to where this series takes readers next.”
—Mystery Scene Magazine
“Gayle excels at depicting the procedural side of small town police investigations…. Expand your world and take a moment to visit with Thomas Lynch.”
“Absorbing…. Gayle does a fine job of capturing small-town life…. Fans of the first book will be delighted, and newcomers will find a new favorite.”
“If you haven’t discovered Stephanie Gayle yet, welcome to the show. Idyll Fears is a gripping read, a ticking-clock thriller populated with nuanced characters and anchored in convincing police work. Thomas Lynch is one of my new favorite leads—smart, spiky, and struggling to make his own place in a town that needs him, but may not deserve him. I can’t wait to visit Idyll again.”
—Glen Erik Hamilton, Anthony Award–winning author of Past Crimes
“Smart, spare, and insightful, this compelling procedural has it all: a uniquely endearing main character, realistic dialogue, a surprising and twisty story, and, above all, the talented and stylish storytelling of a confident and sure-handed new voice in crime fiction. Could not put it down!”
—Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning author
"Guaranteed to send a shiver down your spine. Lynch is a compelling, deeply human character—at once prickly, damaged, and heroic—and Gayle’s evocative prose breathes life into every twisty, thrilling page.”
—Chris Holm, Anthony Award–winning author of The Killing Kind
“Gayle proves that she’s in it for the long haul. Lynch is a fine, nuanced character—a police chief readers can believe in and root for. The tale is riveting, right up there with the best police procedurals. I highly recommend it!”
—Terry Shames, award-winning author of the Samuel Craddock mysteries
PRAISE FOR IDYLL THREATS:
"Lynch is a deeply compelling character. . . . Readers will want to see how the next two decades treat this intriguingly complex cop."
--BOOKLIST, STARRED REVIEW
"A tight story that is part police procedural and part traditional mystery that keeps you guessing to the very end. It is also a fast-paced jaunt that never lags and paints a believable picture behind the charming and sometimes complicated facade of small town life."
--KILLER NASHVILLE BOOK OF THE DAY
"Readers will hope. . . that this book will be the first of many with Thomas Lynch as the multidimensional and likable police chief."
"Gayle has crafted a fascinating mystery and--even more engaging for this reader--a believable, complicated hero. Thomas Lynch is a flawed, sympathetic man struggling with the benefits and risks of coming to terms with himself. I was rooting for him the whole way."
--STEPHEN McCAULEY, author of The Object of My Affection and Insignificant Others
In 1997, six-year-old Cody, who suffers from a severe genetic disorder that prevents him from feeling pain, goes missing during a blizzard two weeks before Christmas, mobilizing the small town of Idyll, CT. Police Chief Thomas Lynch must contend with the national spotlight, a confusing case, procedural errors, and confronting his own fears. Lynch is still a newcomer to the area and targeted by those who struggling to accept a cop who is gay. Time is not on Lynch's side as he works to bring Cody home safely. Lynch is a finely nuanced and congenial character coping with close-minded outlooks and threats to his career. Gayle handles the potentially prickly plot aspect of placing a special-needs child in jeopardy with finesse and provides a thoughtful portrayal of Cody's family. VERDICT The follow-up to Gayle's well-received 2015 debut, Idyll Threats, is another robust police procedural packed with suspense. Book lovers interested in discovering other classic gay investigators active in the 1990s and before may want to check out series by Joseph Hansen, Richard Stevenson, Michael Nava, and John Morgan Wilson.—ACT
A kidnapped boy disrupts a small Connecticut town's holiday season. As harassing calls and death threats attest, Idyll doesn't appear entirely ready for a gay chief of police in 1997. After nearly a year, Chief Thomas Lynch, a former NYC homicide detective, still doesn't feel quite comfortable in his rural community despite its Christmas-card charm. When 6-year-old Cody Forrand vanishes in the snow, Lynch tries to focus on the job and not the fallout from coming out to his staff. A rare neurological condition that makes Cody impervious to pain means he won't know when he's getting too cold for safety even if he has, as his parents hope, simply gone outside to play. As hours pass, worry mounts that the boy was abducted, and Lynch loses points for not organizing a more effective search party and not calling in a rescue dog he didn't know the staff had. Cody's sudden reappearance outside a grocery store in a Hartford suburb raises more questions than it answers. His memories of being lured into a car by a person disguised as his favorite TV hero are blurred and perhaps not even accurate thanks to the drugs he was dosed with. What's even more puzzling is that the kidnapper took him farther south before turning north again and dumping him. Even after Cody's safe return, Lynch still hopes to find the perp—and to solve the case of a candy store break-in, collar an arsonist, and discover who spray-painted FAG on his Crown Vic. Then Cody disappears again. With the help of the FBI, including a handsome agent who takes more than a professional interest in Lynch, and clues ranging from a car with an "old lady" smell to an ill-fitting mask and a cocker spaniel puppy, Lynch begins to think the unthinkable about the second kidnapping. Hobbled only by a monotonously terse style, Gayle's follow-up to Idyll Threats (2015) is believable in both characterization and the ebb and flow of police detection.