The Homeplace by Kevin Wolf

The Homeplace by Kevin Wolf is a rural mystery of murder and a tale of small town heroes who come home and the people they left behind. Wolf’s tale of violence and death is as much a tale of family dysfunction and small town memories as it is of killing of two young lovers. It deftly raises the question as to who is affected the most from the leaving of a small town, those who leave or those who are left behind.

“…Driving by the homeplace, anyone would think it was just like every other farmhouse and would never know about the filth and darkness inside…”

Chase Ford was the first in this family for four generations to leave Comanche County, Colorado. Chase was a high school basketball star and followed his dream to college and then to the pros before injury and time ended his career. Coming home it seems like time had stood still. He was still the high school star and tales of his exploits still spoken about, on and off the court. But Comanche County has a new star, a young kid who is poised to break all of Chase’s records and make the people of Comanche County forgot all about Chase. Until the young man is found dead, naked and shot in the head.

When a second and third body are found, all with ties to Chase, it begins to appear that the star player may have come home for different reasons than anyone could have expected. Now Chase, with the friends he has left, must look for the truth behind these mysterious deaths, a truth that is sure to be far too close to home.

Wolf’s tale of murder and madness in rural Colorado is a breath of fresh air in the current genre of murder mysteries. Set in a small town, among a group of people still trapped in the glory of their high school past as well as burdened by the years that have passed since, The Homeplace is filled with characters who do not fit the mold of the supporting cast. Instead they breath and move and fill the novel with their own lives and angst. Chase comes home, much older and experienced then when he left and it opens his eyes to not only what he left behind but to the hurt he may have caused in his desire to leave.

The character of Chase is a terrific study in the visage of the fallen hero. Fallen, not in the eyes of the small town he left behind but in his own eyes.

Though the killer is easily given away early on, the cadence and strum of tale will keep you invoved as if you had no idea who it could be. It is the characters who you will follow, to find out how they will deal with the truth as it is slowly revealed to them.

A very good read.


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