Synopses & Reviews
On the same night that Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, ten-year-old Charlie Olmstead jumped on his bike to see if there was some way he could get a better look. It was the last anyone ever saw of him. After Perry Hollow Police Chief Jim Campbell found Charlies bike caught in the water above Sunset Falls, he assumed the worst. Everyone did—except Charlies mother.
Years later, Eric Olmstead—now a famous author and Charlies younger brother—has come back to Perry Hollow to bury his mother and fulfill her last request: Find Charlie. To do so, he goes to the current police chief, his former sweetheart, Kat Campbell, who happens to be Jim Campbells daughter. Together they soon discover that Erics mother was convinced Charlie was kidnapped, and that finding him—whether he was dead or alive—was her secret obsession. While she never succeeded, she did uncover clues that suggested he wasnt the only boy across Pennsylvania to vanish into thin air during that time.
The haunting story of a boy missing for forty years, and of a small town that found lies easier to believe than the truth, explodes into the present in Bad Moon, Todd Ritters excellent follow-up to his acclaimed debut.
Praise for Death Notice
“Serial-killer tales are so abundant in the thriller/mystery genre that it takes something special to capture the readers attention. And thats what Todd Ritter…has accomplished in his debut novel, Death Notice.… Part whodunit, part thriller, and wholly dazzling, Death Notice is a nightmare-inducing roller coaster—and the product of a writer from whom much more can be expected.”
“Notice this sparkling debut novel.… Todd Ritter kept me guessing right up to the end of this well-wrought mystery with an abundance of twists, turns, and red herrings.”
“Unusually interesting people encounter unusually ghastly murders in New Jersey journalist Ritters engaging debut.… Ritter treats his main characters—sympathetic, believably vulnerable people—with respect.… A fiery conclusion.”
“Death Notice is a tense and twisty whodunit from a fresh new voice in fiction. With well-drawn characters and spare, unflinching prose, Todd Ritter offers an atmospheric and emotionally rich debut. Mystery fans will love their visit to Ritters Perry Hollow.”
—Lisa Unger, author of Fragile
A Special Review of BAD MOON from New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Unger
Its July 20, 1969, and we return to Perry Hollow in a dreamy, shimmering opening scene where Neil Armstrong is making history. But as the television in the Olmstead living room casts its eerie light, a much bigger drama is unfolding. Ten-year-old Charlie has taken off on his bicycle, certain that he can see the astronaut bouncing along the surface of the glowing full moon. He doesnt come home. And on that night, when the world was staring in wonder at the heavens, Charlies mother was running through the streets of Perry Hollows, looking for her son. She never found him.
For a mother, the loss of a child is a far more impacting event than the first moonwalk. And though the authorities and the rest of the town thought that Charlie was lost to an accident that night - his mother Maggie never believed it. She spent her whole life secretly searching for her son, for some kind of closure that never came. In BAD MOON, Todd Ritters compelling follow-up to last years acclaimed DEATH NOTICE, most everyone is carrying that same burden, looking for answers that may or may not ever come.
More than 40 years after Charlies disappearance, his brother, bestselling novelist Eric Olmstead has returned home to honor his mothers dying wish: FIND HIM. He enlists the help of Nick Donnelly who, after losing his job with the state police, dedicates his life to solving cold cases. He, too, may be seeking a kind of closure in helping grieving families find answers when everyone else has given up. He knows what its like to live with haunting questions.
Enter Perry Hollow Police Chief Kat Campbell. Her own father ran the 1969 investigation into Charlies disappearance; and in following his notes, she realizes that he overlooked - or ignored -- critical clues. But why? To complicate matters, Eric and Kat share a history themselves, a painful one shed rather forget. The past, it seems, wants to find a way out of the grave to wrap itself around the present.
Ritter delves deep into the veiled, complicated lives of Perry Hollows residents. And in doing so he tackles some big themes: What does it mean to be someones parent? And what does it mean to be someones child? How far will we go to hide the truth about ourselves and the people we love? In this complex, and expertly plotted outing, Todd Ritter explores these matters with a deft hand, never letting the suspense lag for even a moment -- right through to the astonishing conclusion.
About Lisa Unger:
Lisa Unger is an award-winning New York Times and international bestselling author. Her novels have sold over 1 million copies in the U.S. and have been translated into 26 different languages. Her writing has been hailed as "masterful" (St. Petersburg Times), "sensational" (Publishers Weekly) and "sophisticated" (New York Daily News) with "gripping narrative and evocative, muscular prose" (Associated Press).
About the Author
TODD RITTER, author of Death Notice, is a career journalist and is currently at The Star-Ledger. He lives in suburban New Jersey. This is his second novel.