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June 12, 2014


John B. Wren's

Katie Jones, Illustrator    
Darryl's Reunion
Paperback, First, 314 pages
Published February 22nd 2014 (first published February 21st 2014)
ISBN 9780988937

 Darryl's Reunion is the story of a young boy, killed in his first year of high school. His murder goes unsolved for nineteen years. The interest of the town's newest detective is drawn because it is an unsolved murder and peaked when he finds out the victim's intended graduating class from the local high school is holding it's fifteenth year reunion. Detective Ian McLarry meets with the reunion committee and begins asking questions. "We know who did it," claim the committee members, "We just can't prove it."
As detective McLarry begins his investigation, one of the committee members begins their own plan to find justice.


Quite a setting for a murder mystery. Maybe not so much, considering  everything that happens these days.  Anyway,  the setting is a high school class reunion.  We go back in time where a boy, Darryl, a high school Freshman, that is bullied comes up murdered, apparently beaten to death.  He was a wimp, who didn't stand up for himself and was bulled continuously by Dave Branch.  Most of the high schoolers liked their classmate, Dave.  At the time, the police did a ship shod investigation and decided it was random by somebody passing through. Darryl's wallet and watch were never found. The town didn't know if it was one of his classmates or just a random murder.  Either way, I felt this was an awful crime. Have you ever wondered how many crimes go unsolved?  Interesting.   Now in present day we have a new sheriff, Ian Murry, who is working on cold cases.
This murder being one of them. The kids who were high schoolers 15 years ago throu\ow a high school reunion and the sheriff makes friends with many at the reunion.  They say they know who the murderers are and that they are walking around Vaneksberg free as can be. One of the committee members has a terminal illness and is bound and determined to make the killers pay.  Since he is terminally ill, he goes past the law.  He decides to 'deal' with the bullies in memory of Darryl.  I felt this was a good twist in the story but sad to think that it took Darryl's death to make them see that he was a person who may have been a little different but a person just the same. He didn't deserve what he got. Did this have something to do with the second case that the sheriff was working on?

To add to the sheriff's  load, another even more tragic happens.  Can this detective cover both crimes?We're talking 15 years before when the first crime happened. 
 The author wrote wonderful descriptions of the characters.  He tells how Detective Ian McLarry has a lot of patience and brick by brick he is building his case surrounding a 15 year old crime of Darryl's murder.
Did Dave do it or was it a random killing? Was the avenger on the right path and did it lead to an arrest or arrests? I felt that the ending left the reader fulfilled.  Justice was finally served on an old crime.  There are some real twists and turns in this story. Pick up a copy and read the well written, good plot and see if  you can figure out what happened to Darryl and who did it? This is a good murder mystery filled with suspense.

I was given a complimentary copy of DARRYL'S REUNION from the author, John B. Wren for my view of the book.  No other compensation took place.

I would give this book 4 Bullets.

John B. Wren is a consulting engineer named author, living in Northern Virginia with his wife, Lois and two younger children.  He grew up in a large Catholic family in western New York state and has been a practicing engineer ever since.

John B. WrenHis first novel, "TO PROBE A BEATING HEART" was published in July of 2011 and his second, "KILLING HIS FEAR" was released in 2012.  This book, "DARRYL"S REUNION" is his third novel and his next project is currently in writing, due to be released in the fall of 2014.


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