Plano Reads: How it Happened

Read our review of How It Happened by Michael Koryta, a Mystery Book Club pick for April.

You can join us to virtually discuss How It Happened on April  15 at 7 p.m. using Zoom! Register online here.

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How it Happened by Michael Koryta

Currently available through the PPL Catalog as well as OverDrive and the Libby app.

Description from Overdrive:

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.

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How It Happened drops you right into the action as Kimberly Crepeaux confesses to having a hand in the murders of Jackie Pelletier and Ian Kelly. However, Koryta also quickly establishes that Kimberly is known for making up stories. As Rob Barrett, the lead FBI investigator on this case, weaves his way through the horrendous homicide of two seemingly innocent bystanders, we question if his faith in Kimberly is rational. Yet, I still found myself rooting for Barrett all the way through this story.

Koryta expertly develops his complex characters. Although Barrett is the clear “good guy” in this thriller, Koryta leaves you wondering if it is as unambiguous for the other characters. The tragic loss of Howard Pelletier’s beloved daughter packs the novel with an emotional punch in the gut, fueling Barrett’s (and our) search for the true killer.

If you have not read anything by Koryta, now is the time to jump in. Fans of Robert B. Parker, John Connolly, and Meg Gardiner will likely enjoy this intricately-plotted mystery.

Emery, Librarian
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Michael Koryta (pronounced Ko-ree-ta) is the New York Times-bestselling author of 14 novels, a novella, and multiple short stories. Michael has written for the screen in both feature film and television, writing scripts for Fox, Universal, and Amazon Studios.

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 and 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 with a cranky cat named Marlowe, an emotionally disturbed cat named John Pryor (named after the gravestone on which he was found as an abandoned kitten), and a dog of unknown heritage named Lola.

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Read-alike titles available on OverDrive, the Libby app, and through PPL:

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