15 year old Lucia Moberg lifts a CD out of a store in a shopping mall—and when she and her dad get into their car, there is a tap at the window. The next second her father's brains are on the dashboard. So begins the story of the ruin of her mother, whose home life is shrouded in darkness, a mysterious and menacing motorcycle gang, the real-to-life female cop out to crack the case, who is facing her own family's collapse, and the struggle for Lucia to piece together some semblance of a normal teenage life. The writing is hard and crisp, and wholly multi-dimensional, while the story moves along at a nail-biting pace with twists, turns, literary allusions, and the engaging plight of several fascinating, memorable, and fully rounded characters.
Mystery Lovers Review:
Derek Nikitas comes to the mystery scene with kudos from none other than Joyce Carol Oates, who nominated him for a Pushcart Award in 2005.Oates certainly knows whereof she speaks, as Nikitas’ first novel blazes into publication. If you’re familiar with the work of Oates, you won’t be surprised that she values crisp prose, tight plotting, psychological suspense, and exploration into the violence crouching within the human psyche. All of these characterize Pyres, this brilliant beginning for Nikitas, illuminating the darkness emanating from missteps magnified into nightmare. I look forward to following this distinctive new voice in the genre of literary mystery. [LM]