A Season to Kill by Michael Mucci is a detective novel that features Chris DeAngelo, a new sheriff in Macon, Pennsylvania. Chris’ former boss, Clay Holbrook, suddenly died of a heart attack just a few days before the novel begins, so Chris is thrust into a role he’s unprepared – and many would argue unsuited – for.
Within days of becoming the new sheriff, Chris is faced with problem after problem. First, someone disappears and, soon after, Macon’s first murder in over twenty years occurs. As Chris investigates, he quickly learns that not all is as pleasant as it seems in Macon. In fact, people have regularly disappeared without a trace every December for the past eleven years. While Chris can’t find any connection between those who disappeared, he can’t let go of the feeling that something just isn’t right.
Of course, Chris’ investigation is met with resistance every step of the way as he tries to figure out what’s going on and if the disappearances each year are actually the work of a serial killer. As he gets closer to the truth, more violence erupts as the guilty do everything they can to keep from being discovered.
Sheriff Chris DeAngelo was my favorite part of the book. He is an easygoing, laid back guy who focuses on doing the best he can without letting himself get too overwhelmed. He is determined to follow and enforce the law regardless of who disagrees with him or questions his judgment. His only real concern is catching criminals – he doesn’t care about making people happy or playing politics.
The one downside to the book, at least for me, was that I knew early on who the culprits were. Knowing that made it frustrating to watch Chris make bad decisions or follow false leads. I could still certainly appreciate the story itself and what Michael Mucci was trying to say, but I did wish the mystery had been more thoroughly concealed. Of course, my guessing at who the culprits were could have been in part due to having read hundreds of mystery/thrillers, too. After a while, you just learn what to look out for.
If you like small town murder mysteries, you should take a look at this book. My understanding is that this is the first book in a series for Sheriff Chris DeAngelo. After reading this one, I’m excited to see where the series goes. If you’re interested, check it out on Amazon. And, as always, if you do read it, be sure to leave your own review!
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