Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mortom by Erik Therme

Andy Crowl hasn't been to Mortom for years.  His aunt Mary and cousin Craig live there, but the small town doesn't have anything to attract a young man, and he isn't really close with his relatives.  Craig used to spend time in the summers with Andy's family, but about the only thing they had in common was their attraction to puzzles and their skill in unraveling them. 

It's a shock when Craig is found drowned in the lake surrounding Mortom.  It's even more of a shock when Andy finds out that Craig left everything he owned, his house, his belongings, his bank accounts to Andy.  Why would he do that?  Why cut his mother out of his will?

Andy and his sister Kate come to town to settle the estate and sign all the necessary papers.  When he does, Andy discovers that his cousin Craig has left one more thing, a puzzle for Andy that seems to promise a treasure at the end of the hunt.  A puzzle that has a timeline; four days, and a suggestion that bad things will occur if the puzzle isn't solved in time.  Has Craig left a blessing or a curse?

Mortom is Erik Therme's debut novel and readers will be interested to follow his career and see what he does next.  He has created a chilling atmosphere that delves beneath the secrets a small town harbors; recreating a place where everyone knows everyone's business and no one tells an outsider anything.  The story has the timeline of the puzzle to propel the action and the reader can't help but wonder if Andy and his sister will solve the mystery in time.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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