The 8th Circle by Sarah Cain

The 8th Circle by Sarah Cain
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (326 pgs)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

A year ago, Danny Ryan lost his wife and son in a car accident. He’s still reeling from the tragedy when Michael Cohen, his friend and fellow journalist, drives into the pond in front of his house with a bullet through his gut.

With Michael’s death ruled a murder, Danny must work to get his name crossed off the list of suspects, and that means digging into Michael’s last article, an expose of the twisted side of Philadelphia politics. But powerful people are ready to kill to protect what Michael was about to uncover, and if Danny’s not careful, he’ll be next.

If I had to sum up The 8th Circle in one word, that would be gritty. There’s lots of violence and people start dying in sometimes gruesome ways, as the plot continues.

The storyline grabbed me from the opening chapter, especially when the main character’s friend drives his car into his pond and is the victim of an obvious shooting. Speaking of the main character, that’s Danny Ryan, who is likeable from page one. You feel for his pain and you’re cheering him along as they story takes more twists and turns. Did his friend drive to his house to give him something, are the deaths of Danny’s wife and child somehow connected to what’s currently happening in Danny’s suddenly nightmarish world?

One thing I liked most about this story was the natural sounding dialogue. So what didn’t I like about it? There wasn’t much but sometimes the story jumped to another chapter and another character’s viewpoint, one we hadn’t been introduced to before and it somehow seemed jarring, at least it did for me. Also, it wasn’t until later in the story that a character that we had been introduced to suddenly got a voice in this story which also seemed somewhat jarring to me.

There is a huge cast of characters in this story and not all of them very nice people. Even some you thought were okay, turned out to be not so nice people who would do anything to save their own skin. This story will certainly have you turning the pages, trying to figure out who’s behind every misfortune and death that seems to be befalling Danny.

I’d recommend this if enjoy your mysteries on the gritty side.

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