The 8th Circle

A Danny Ryan Thriller, #1

The 8th Circle by Sarah Cain is a novel labeled a thriller and it doesn't fall short there. There were many scenes and chapters that had me on the edge of my seat. However, I really could've done without the sappy, emotional and macho-laden stuff between Danny and Kate. Those scenes made me feel like I was watching a cop drama! Still, it was a good book.

The characters were a little too rough around the edges but I guess that comes from a hard life of cop families and alcoholism. I sometimes felt, however, that the author went a little too far off the mat in trying to write from a male POV. It just felt a little overdone. That didn't stop me from turning the pages. I kept wanting to know what happens next. I also wanted answers. Was Beth and Conor's death really an accident? Who was Kate, really, and what was her secret? Why was Danny being pulled into something that didn't seem to have anything to do with him but mostly his father's last case? What was the Inferno and why was the truth about it something that had to stay secret?

Oh, but nothing is ever secret. And Danny being a news reporter, a truth-seeker, feels an innate need to pull the curtains back on the lowest of the low, the wolves in sheeps clothing preying on the innocent. It takes guts to be a reporter and, thankfully, Danny has those guts, and that's what keeps him going to solve the mystery of his friend's death and bring justice to those who have been wronged.

This novel is filled with ghosts from the past haunting the characters and tormenting life as they know it. Reading this story meant getting sucked into their nightmares and feeling their pain to the core. You can't read this novel without feeling their pain, their agony, their grief, their disgust and, ultimately, their desire to break free from it all. The reader can put down this book after finishing it and be able to move on with their lives but in this book are characters struggling to piece back together the shards of what is left of theirs. There are survivors here, but survivors who must carry with them the ghosts of yesterday. In the end, isn't that a burden we are all doomed to one day face when we ourselves must meet our own end?

Book Blurb for The 8th Circle

A year ago, Danny Ryan lost his wife and son in a car accident. He's still reeling from the tragedy when Michael Cohen, his friend and fellow journalist, drives into the pond in front of his house with a bullet through his gut.

With Michael's death ruled a murder, Danny must work to get his name crossed off the list of suspects, and that means digging into Michael's last article, an expose of the twisted side of Philadelphia politics. But powerful people are ready to kill to protect what Michael was about to uncover, and if Danny's not careful, he'll be next.

The dark heart of the city is on display in Sarah Cain's gripping debut thriller, The 8th Circle.

Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2016 4.00