Book Review: One of Us by: Tawni O'Dell

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: August 19, 2014

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Synopsis: 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, he's 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.

Review: Never having read any of Tawni O’Dell’s work before, I was intrigued by the synopsis of ONE OF US. We all have the ghosts of our past, and Dr. Sheridan ‘Danny’ Doyle is no different. Now a successful and respected forensic psychologist, he was once just a poor boy growing up in Lost Creek with his mother in prison for murdering his baby sister and his father an abusive drunk. Now he’s back to help the only family who made a difference when he was young, his grandfather Tommy. The town of Lost Creek has its own ghosts – the Nellie O’Neill’s, Irish miners who were strung up for rebellion and murder. Now the Lost Creek gallows have claimed another victim and Danny decides to pursue the truth by assisting the only detective in town, his friend Rafe. Uncovering the secrets this town holds may bring up more truth than Danny can handle. ONE OF US is a good and definitely solid story. There isn’t tons of action, but a steady pace building up to a disquieting and disturbing ending. The setting and atmosphere of Lost Creek became its own character and lent itself well to the movement of the plot. ONCE OF US aptly demonstrates facts aren’t always truth and truth is stranger than fiction. I look forward to reading more of Ms. O’Dell’s work in the future!

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