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Under The Radar Mag: “A page turner and a wonderfully satisfying read, Blackbird is a terrific edition to the genre and a more than worthy follow up to Wright's lauded debut.”

Date: Jul 27 2015

Tom Wright is a licensed, practicing psychologist in Texas. Blackbird is his second crime novel, his first, 2012's What Dies in Summer having received accolades from both New York Times and the Crime Writer's Association. With Blackbird, Wright paints a picture of a small town wracked by the gruesome crucifixion murder of one of the town's psychologists. Detective Jim Bonham, a middle-aged man estranged from his wife, with two children and a complicated history of his own, is handling the case.

As the narrative plays itself out, a nuanced picture of small town America is painted, one where everybody knows everybody and everyone has a secret. Wright develops his characters with wondrous skill in the book's first half. One is drawn into the town, getting a feel for the players, with the murder mostly as the backdrop. But once Bonham is kicked off the case for past indiscretions, things kick into high gear and run fast and furious to the book's thrilling conclusion. Blackbird's climactic scenes are ones of beauty, the visuals Wright paints for his characters causing reader engagement like few books can. Wright wraps it all up in the end, every clue explained, every motive out in the open, and every player found. A page turner and a wonderfully satisfying read, Blackbird is a terrific edition to the genre and a more than worthy follow up to Wright's lauded debut.

Author rating: 8/10