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Saturday, 20 October 2018

‘How It Happened’ by Michael Koryta


Published by Little, Brown and Company,
15 May 2018.
ISBN: 978-0-316-29393-8 (HB)

Inspired by an actual event in the author’s hometown, this novel recounts the ups and downs in the life of Rob Barrett, an FBI specialist in interrogations, who is sent to a little town in Maine years after the disappearance of a man and two women.  Barrett finally reaches a witness who confesses to having participated in the murder and disposal of the bodies of a man and a woman in a shallow lake. Unfortunately, when the lake is inspected, the bodies aren’t there.  Barrett insists he believes the confession, but the prevailing view is that it is unreliable because the confessor is a known liar and drug addict. Moreover, absence of the bodies where they’re said to be is further proof.

Barrett is sent to a remote FBI office in the Midwest in disgrace, but the confession still haunts him.  Eventually, he returns to Maine on his own nickel to find the truth, which, of course, is elusive. The story becomes more complex, as he investigates more deeply, and the scope widens.

Michael Koryta has written a gripping tale about a grisly murder and cover-ups and subterfuges to hide a variety of motivations as each layer of the story is unveiled.   It is a novel describing perseverance and investigative skill.  The novel has its origins in a murder investigation which the author covered for his hometown newspaper as a young reporter, and is recommended.
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Reviewer:  Theodore Feit
Michael Koryta (pronounced Ko-ree-ta) is the New York Times-bestselling author of 12 suspense novels and has been translated into more than 20 languages. Michael was raised in Bloomington, Indiana, where he graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. In 2008, he was honoured as a “distinguished young alumni” by Indiana University, and in 2010 he was named “distinguished alumni’ by the criminal justice department. Michael’s first novel, the Edgar-nominated Tonight I Said Goodbye was accepted for publication when he was 20 years old. He wrote his first two published novels before graduating from college and was published in nearly 10 languages before he fulfilled the “writing requirement” classes required for his diploma. Before turning to writing full-time, Michael worked as a private investigator, a newspaper reporter, and taught at the Indiana University School of Journalism. He began working for a private investigator as an intern while in high school, turned it into his day job in the early stages of his writing career. As a journalist, he won numerous awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. Michael and his wife, Christine, divide their time between Bloomington and Camden, Maine.
Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them. Ted passed away suddenly on 13 September 2018.





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