Review – Graveyard Fields by Steven Tingle

Posted September 10, 2021 by Carole in Reviews / 8 Comments

I received this book for free from the Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review – Graveyard Fields by Steven TingleGraveyard Fields by Steven Tingle
Published by Crooked Lane Books Genres: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Private Investigators
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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four-stars

Full of grit and small town secrets, Tingle's debut is a searing look at the effects of crime for fans of David Joy and Michael Farris Smith.

Davis Reed is plagued by the three "A's": anger, alcohol, and anxiety. A former Charleston police officer, turned private detective, Davis hopes to gain some respect, self and otherwise, by writing a book. His subject: the true story of a B-25 bomber that crashed on Cold Mountain in western North Carolina just after the end of World War II.

From the comfort of a mountain cabin in Cruso, NC Davis spends his days popping anti-anxiety pills, drinking copious amounts of home brewed beer, and not writing a book. But when he discovers a set of keys on a mountain trail, he becomes curious, then obsessed, about finding the rightful owner. With the help of his friend Dale Johnson, a 275 pound local deputy who is full time ornery and part time clever, and Dale's cousin Floppy, a motor mouthed mechanic with a penchant for conspiracy theories and kleptomania, Davis works to uncover the mystery of the keys while navigating a world of small town secrets, shady characters, 80's heavy metal, and murder.

But Davis has his own secrets and even though he's escaped to the mountains some bad business in Charleston is beginning to catch up with him. For an anxiety riddled man looking for peace and quiet Davis somehow stumbles into more chaos and crossfire than any amount of beer and pills can alleviate.

I really enjoyed this book! I went into this book rather blindly and my gamble worked out. I was hooked by this book early on and once I got into the book just a bit, I did not want to put it down. I was really curious about what was really going on and how this group of characters would figure it all out. I am so glad that I decided to give this book a try.

Davis is a former officer turned private investigator and it is safe to say that he has a few issues. After things go horribly wrong in Charleston, he decides to rent a cabin near Cold Mountain and write a book. He doesn’t get a whole lot of writing done though as he spends much of his time with Dale, the man from who he is renting the cabin. When he comes across a set of keys on a trail, he can’t seem to let the mystery behind them go. Before long, Davis along with Dale, who happens to be a local deputy, are busy trying to figure out who the keys belong to and how they ended up on the trail.

The characters in this book were wonderfully done. They all have their flaws, some pretty big flaws at that, but I really felt like they felt authentic. I like that these characters aren’t always serious, they often seem incompetent, and that they were able to surprise me a few times. There were a few moments in the story that I found myself chuckling because I could easily envision some of the crazy things these characters do in their quest to get to the bottom of things. I was drawn into the mystery and I was completely stumped as to how everything would work out.

I would recommend this book to others. I found this to be a well-crafted mystery filled with wonderful characters that I grew to care about over the course of the story. I love that the author even worked a bit of humor into the novel. I will definitely plan to read more of Steven Tingle’s work in the future.

I received an advanced review copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books.

About Steven Tingle

Steven Tingle was born and raised in western North Carolina. Before becoming a writer he was a golf resort manager, real estate developer, and restauranteur. As a journalist specializing in travel, style, and food and drink his work has appeared in Robb Report, Modern Luxury, Town, Tempus, and Discovery. He lives in upstate South Carolina with his wife Jess.

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