An FBI investigator must uncover the secrets of his hometown to solve a double murder in this twisty "page turner" that's "perfect summer reading" (Stephen King).
"And that is how it happened. Can we stop now?"
Kimberly Crepeaux is no good, a notorious jailhouse snitch, teen mother, and heroin addict whose petty crimes are well-known to the rural Maine community where she lives. So when she confesses to her role in the brutal murders of Jackie Pelletier and Ian Kelly, the daughter of a well-known local family and her sweetheart, the locals have little reason to believe her story.
Not Rob Barrett, the FBI investigator and interrogator specializing in telling a true confession from a falsehood. He's been circling Kimberly and her conspirators for months, waiting for the right avenue to the truth, and has finally found it. He knows, as strongly as he's known anything, that Kimberly's story -- a grisly, harrowing story of a hit and run fueled by dope and cheap beer that becomes a brutal stabbing in cold blood -- is how it happened. But one thing remains elusive: where are Jackie and Ian's bodies?
After Barrett stakes his name and reputation on the truth of Kimberly's confession, only to have the bodies turn up 200 miles from where she said they'd be, shot in the back and covered in a different suspect's DNA, the case is quickly closed and Barrett forcibly reassigned. But for Howard Pelletier, the tragedy of his daughter's murder cannot be so tidily swept away. And for Barrett, whose career may already be over, the chance to help a grieving father may be the only one he has left. How it Happened is a frightening, tension-filled ride into the dark heart of rural America from a writer Stephen King has called "a master" and the New York Times has deemed "impossible to resist."
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Michael Koryta’s ability to subvert the conventions of the whodunit are second to none. The bestselling author boldly opens this absorbing mystery with a confession that lays out the who, how, and why of a double homicide—and yet, as FBI investigator Rob Barrett gradually learns, there’s still a mystery to untangle. Set in a New England vacation retreat where urban wealth and rural poverty collide, How It Happened methodically unveils a web of lies, giving armchair detectives plenty of clues along the way. But what makes Koryta’s sordid tale so gripping is his cast of richly detailed characters, who are all haunted by family secrets and domestic strife.
With this searing look at an investigator's obsessive efforts to close a case that has reawakened childhood demons, bestseller Koryta (Rise the Dark) has produced his most powerful novel in years. FBI agent Rob Barrett feels he has "a firm sense of the truth and no evidence to back it up" after he extracts an unsubstantiated confession from 22-year-old Kimberly Crepeaux, who admits to a role in killing Jackie Pelletier, the daughter of a prominent fisherman in Port Hope, Maine, and Jackie's boyfriend, Ian Kelly. In fact, Kimberly, who has a reputation for being a liar, provided incorrect details about where their bodies could be found. Still, Barrett, an inexperienced agent with a reputation as a superior interrogator, credits Kimberly's account. According to her, her co-conspirator, 29-year-old Mathias Burke, a "local source of pride" who has a successful landscaping and remodeling business, first ran Jackie down with his truck and then bashed Ian's head in before dumping their corpses in a pond. As Barrett, who knew Burke growing up in Port Hope, tries to ferret out the truth, certain aspects of the case revive painful memories of his mother's inexplicable death when he was eight. Koryta, when he's at the top of his game, has few peers in combining murder mysteries with psychological puzzles. Author tour.
Michael Koryta is one of my favorite authors. Using few words, he describes scenes, sensory, and characters that elicits emotional responses. The plot is intricately woven, and he gives the reader a few threads that pulls us forward. I’m in awe of his skills and admire his story-telling skills. How It Happened grabbed my attention and didn’t let go.
How it happened.
Characters poorly developed Plot not convincing.
Read this in one day
This is, in my opinion, Koryta’s best novel in several years. The characters are well developed, the pacing is smooth and his tension keeps you turning pages.