An FBI investigator must uncover the secrets of his hometown to solve a double murder in this twisty “page turner” that’s “perfect summer reading” (Stephen King).
“And that is how it happened. Can we stop now?”
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.
HOW IT HAPPENED is a frightening, tension-filled ride into the dark heart of rural America from a writer Stephen King has called “a master” and the New York Times has deemed “impossible to resist.”
Michael Koryta is the New York Times bestselling author of 12 suspense novels, including Rise the Dark, Last Words, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Prophet, The Ridge, and So Cold The River. His work has been praised by Stephen King, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Dennis Lehane, Daniel Woodrell, Ron Rash, and Scott Smith among many others, and has been translated into more than 20 languages. His books have won or been nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Edgar® Award, Shamus Award, Barry Award, Quill Award, International Thriller Writers Award, and the Golden Dagger.
Before turning to writing full-time, Koryta worked as a private investigator, a newspaper reporter, and taught at the Indiana University School of Journalism. Koryta’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.
Koryta was raised in Bloomington, Indiana, where he graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Koryta 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.
"Michael Koryta is one hell of a writer, and How it Happened is one hell of a murder mystery. It's a tribute to Koryta's craftsmanship and skill that the reader can't put the book down until the last layer of the onion is peeled away to reveal the truth at the core of this gripping tale... A remarkable achievement that rises high above the genre."—Nelson DeMille, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Cuban Affair
"This gripping and absorbing story about a protagonist coming to terms with his conflicted past, a lost love, and a crime that seems determined not to be solved could only be penned by Michael Koryta, whose sense of place and insight into the human experience are unsurpassed."—Sandra Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Seeing Red
"Ingenious.. Koryta' s plotting is sure-footed, and the secrets he discloses, one by one, at the novel's end are both surprising and plausible... How It Happened [is] a book the reader won't soon forget."—The Washington Post
"Michael Koryta's latest may be [the summer's] best page-turner. This isn't a whodunit: We know from the start that the upwardly upstanding, inwardly creepy Mathias Burke murdered a young couple in the town of Port Hope, Maine. The book casts its spell in revealing the whys and wherefores of the killings, as investigated by Burke's onetime high school classmate, Rob Barrett, a Boston FBI agent whom Burke likes nothing better than to humiliate... Koryta, who has introduced supernatural elements into several novels, plays it pretty straight here. But that doesn't mean he fails to deliver his usual blend of dark psychology and pulse-pounding action."—Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Tribune
"With this searing look at an investigator's obsessive efforts to close a case that has awakened childhood demons, bestseller Koryta has produced his most powerful novel in years... Koryta, when he's at the top of his game, has few peers in combining murder mysteries with psychological puzzles."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Is Koryta capable of telling a less-than-gripping tale? ... flawless, unpredictable storytelling streaked with his usual dark undercurrents. Crime fiction doesn't get any more enjoyable."—Kirkus (starred review)