- Hardcover:368 pages
- Publisher:Minotaur Books (October 11, 2011)
- ISBN-10: 0312622813
- Source: Publisher
On the same night the nation was watching Neil Armstrong take his first steps on the moon, ten-year-old Charlie Olmstead disappeared. He took off on his bike, never to be seen again. His bike was found in a in the water of Sunset Falls, one of his favorite places to visit. The Perry Hollow Police Chief Jim Campbell discovered the bike and he, among many others, assumed Charlie had fallen into the falls and drowned. His mother refused to believe this, spending the rest of her life investigating her son’s disappearance.
Decades later, Charlie’s younger brother Eric, a mere infant when his brother disappeared, has returned to Perry Hollow to bury his mother and to fulfill her deathbed request: Find Charlie. He requests the help of Nick Donnelly, a former state police officer, for help. After being fired for assaulting an employee at the county hospital, Nick formed a non-profit foundation dedicated to solving cold-case files. Nick drags Kat Campbell, police chief and daughter of Jim Campbell into the case. Kat has lived in Perry Hollow all her life and could provide valuable resources in his investigation.
The trio soon learns that Charlie wasn’t the only boy that went missing in this time frame. A handful of children disappeared in Pennsyylvania within years of one another, all taking place at the same time as Apollo missions in space. Instead of one disappearance they begin to investigate several, on the hunt for an elusive serial killer roaming the quiet towns of Pennsylvania. In their investigation, they uncover a host of small-town secrets kept hidden and a multitude of residents who would prefer to allow the dead to lie and for the decades-old secrets remain…
Bad Moon is Ritter’s follow-up to his debut, Death Notice, and what a stunning follow-up it is! Both take place in the small town of Perry Hollow, PA, a small town in which everyone knows one another. Kat’s involvement as both the police chief and daughter of the man who discovered Charlie’s bicycle and the high-school love interest of Eric Olmstead adds a bit of intrigue to the storyline. Additionally, several times throughout the book, I was certain I knew who the abductor was, but without fail I was proved wrong each time. When the truth was ultimately revealed, I was floored; I quite literally shouted “No way!”
Ritter has quite the talent; he develops a compelling storyline as well as deep and complex characters. Each of the main characters have skeletons in their closet and Ritter does a tremendous job of relating this to the storyline. Bad Moon is an absorbing, addictive thriller!Ritter is an author to watch; I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!
I’d be remiss not to add a bit of a soundtrack to this book…for this was the song playing in my head as I read the book: