Review of Murder Outside Haneyville by Gary Whitmore

October 3, 2016

murderoutsidehaneyvillecoverI don’t know if this book will remain in the history of thriller literature, but I am sure it’ll remain in my favourite bookshelf forever. I am discussing about Murder Outside Haneyville by Gary Whitmore. The book is 600 pages, more or less, (I read the Kindle edition), but the paragraphs and sentences are very short and I think you can read the several chapters in a couple of weeks or in a week, as well. The book tells about two American reporters who want to write a story about two teens missed in the 1970s and whose car has been found only many years later.

The two journalists live in two different areas, they have different problems and lives and they are both of them obsessed with a 1962 Buick Special found in the lake of Haneyville, Tennessee. The car belonged to a young couple, Howe and Tiffany, missed at night, during the summer of 1970. The two lovers, indeed, searched a secluded place to live their intimacy. For this reason, aboard the car, they headed to Lake Haney, in Haneyville. And there, amid the woods and the song of night birds, just while they were about to make love, a masked man, ordered them to exit out the car with a gun in the hands.

Beaten by a menacing hit man, the boy falls onto the ground, while the girl is raped and then killed along with her boyfriend. After the murder, the assassin moved the car of the lovers up to make it sink into the lake. From this stage the book takes the perfect style of a mystery, because focused around a main question: who killed How and Tiffany? The car is found many years later in the lake, but not the corpses of the two young lovers. They will be just the two main characters, namely the two journalists, Donovan and Jodi, to discover the truth about this murder.

Indeed, they, at night, while they fall asleep, dream the two lovers. To tell the truth, they dream to make love with them: Jodi with the hair blond boy, Howe, and Donovan with the brunette girl Tiffany. Maybe the two spirits of the lovers are trying to convey a message to these journalists to push them to discover the truth and the place where their corpses were buried? Thanks to a fast paced narration, made of a mix of mystery and supernatural insights, the plot becomes overwhelming and gripping from the first chapters.

The author also proved a good knowledge of legal terms, especially when the sheriff of Haneyville, is in charge of conducting the investigations about the two missed lovers. But this sheriff hides murky secrets… As you can see, the plot is well intertwined and the dialogues are well engineered. The writing style is very easy to understand, also for not native English speakers. The sex scenes make the plot still sharper. Especially the one of the murder, I read it very carefully and I remained shocked for the perfect details, it was as if the scene was real, nearly as if I could hear the scream of these two poor victims. Yes, surely I’ll keep this mystery book among my favourites.

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