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A Long Way Down

Updated: Aug 5, 2019

Ryan Demarco #3

A beautifully written, complex and intricately layered story.



In the third book of the Ryan Demarco mystery series Demarco returns to Erie, Pennsylvania after his estranged wife attempted suicide. While there Demarco runs into an old high school buddy, Ben Brinker who is a county sheriff. Brinker asks for Demarco’s help investigating three recent homicides in their hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. These murders might be related to a cold case from thirty years ago, where the victims were dismembered. All but one of the recent victims fit the profile.

Jayme Matson, a Pennsylvania state trooper has taken time away from her job to spend some quality time with Demarco figuring out their new relationship. Demarco is still struggling with his past and doesn’t really want to go back to his hometown. Jayme, however, is anxious to see Demarco’s childhood home and perhaps learn more about him, it’s not easy for Demarco to walk the streets of his troubled past. The more Jayme and Demarco dig into the grisly murders, the less likely it is that they will escape unharmed.

“It’s exactly 10:29pm and dark in only the way a city can be dark. With a sky so black and low that the only thing visible in it is a pair of red blinking wing lights. No stars here, and down on the street there are only pools of light from the street lamps so that the darkness pooled around those lights looks oily and slick.”


A LONG WAY DOWN is part emotional character study; and part suspenseful and action-packed crime thriller. The story is complex and intricately layered. It’s not just about the gruesome murders, but is also about Demarco and his troubled past, his wife’s suicide attempt, the loss of his son, his insomnia and his relationship with Jayme, The writing is beautifully descriptive and richly textured. My absolute favorite part was the use of the lyrical writings from Thomas Huston, a professor friend of Ryan’s and a character we met earlier in the series. The use of Huston’s writings was creative, emotive and added even more depth to a novel that is bursting with intrigue.

The characters were delightfully well-developed. Demarco’s brooding character as a man trying to overcome past hardships is totally relatable. He knows he needs to pull himself out of the dark moodiness that threaten to envelope him at times. His willingness to try is admirable. Jayme is smart and feisty, and is quite capable of taking care of herself. She has no problem putting people in their place, particularly Demarco. I loved the clever repartee between the two of them. I loved watching their minds work as they attempt to resolve the case. Even the secondary characters are very well-developed.

I’m hooked, and can’t wait for the next book in this series!

Publisher Recorded Books

Published June 4, 2019

Narrated Graham Winton

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