Andy Crowl barely knew his recently deceased cousin, Craig Moore, so he’s especially surprised to be named as the sole beneficiary in Craig’s will. Not that there’s much to inherit: just an empty bank account and a run-down house.
Once Andy arrives in the town of Mortom, however, he’s drawn into his puzzle-obsessed cousin’s true legacy: a twisted and ominous treasure hunt. Beckoned by macabre clues of dead rats and cemetery keys, Andy jumps into the game, hoping to discover untold wealth. But unsavoury secrets—and unanswered questions about Craig’s untimely demise—arise at every turn, leading Andy to wonder if he’s playing the game . . . or if the game is playing him.
This is the second Erik Therme book I’ve reviewed (following my review of Roam, in December). Similarly, I listened to this one via Audible, and similarly while listening I was again strongly reminded of Stephen King. King has such an amazing skill of creating believable characters whose journey you just want to follow, and I think Therme possesses that same skill.
He takes the reader, and his protagonist, Andy, on a macabre treasure-hunt which starts with a decomposing rat and faces us with tasks in places no sane person would undertake. But Andy is no ordinary person; he’s obsessed by puzzles, and the greatest one he needs to solve is why Craig has left his house, and this trail, to him. But with a deathly threat hanging over him, he has no choice other than to see things out – even when he doesn’t like where they’re heading.
I loved this story! The pace and story were wonderful, and the small town USA feel was perfect. The writing is such that even minor characters are memorable, and with secrets aplenty, you’re never too sure who is going to be important and who isn’t. And as a reader, Therme keeps you as baffled (and as interested) as he does Andy. Oh, and Christopher Lane’s narration is top notch too!