Twenty Years Later
By: Charlie Donlea

Quick-take: Decent Thriller.

Dan's Review

Avery is a TV news host with a hidden past. She fell into the gig when she was substituting for the main host that recently passed away. She had a banner year is tapped to host another season. Walt is a former FBI detective that retired to a tropical island when an investigation went wrong. Avery and Walt's lives become intertwined when interest in a cold murder case is renewed when, after twenty years, the remains of the prime suspect are found in the debris of the twin towers from 9/11.

This seems to have it all: Sex, murder, betrayal, money, old secrets. Maybe I should read more mysteries?

One major thing that is glaringly missing from any story that takes place in 2021: COVID-19

There is absolutely no mention of it. Everybody is just walking around going about their day as if there currently is no global pandemic to worry about in 2021.

There were other unbelievable aspects. Avery is the biggest star in the news with a "big" secret that would take a grand total of 10min to uncover with some internet searching.... and nobody has done that yet? Avery even admits it is only a mattern of time. I would really think 1 year would be sufficient for somebody to bother with that. To her credit, though she does try to hide it, she doesn't ever deny it. Another problem is that an important plot piece from the beginning was dropped: Her salary negotiation. The book had a solid chapter of her planning ways to best approach her new salary for season 2 just after completing the show's best year ever during season 1. She basically said, "Talk to you later", and then... much later.

Also, her big closeout of season 1, a sinking van, had us in her thoughts completely scared... and then 2 chapters later she is a sailing expert. No way she is that scared in the earlier stunt.

This review is getting a bit rambly, so I will summarize: There are plot problems, but overall, there are plenty of twists and turns and mini-reveals to keep the book moving really fast. Score: 5/5. I don't read much mystery, but I was entertained. I might try more. I really like knowing a book will actually end when I pick it up. While fantasy writers keep trying to start another endless episodic series, mystery writers know how to complete a story.

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