Title: 44.1644 North
Author: Josh Lanyon
Publisher: JustJoshin Publishing
Release Date: February 9, 2023
Genre(s): Murder/Mystery, M/M
Page Count: 142
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
I find Josh Lanyon's take on this true-crime mystery fascinating. This 140+ page novella uses the framework of an annual gathering at the site of a 20-year-old fictional disappearance of a young woman (Deidre O'Donnell) in a small New Hampshire town in order to discuss the real 2004 disappearance of Maura Murray.
Our MC Skylar Brennan is a podcast host who has a degree in criminal justice and teaches courses in criminology, and as such is a step above the "murder and makeup" crowd or the two "documentary" makers whose research consisted of visiting strip clubs in Montreal. All the usual suspects are discussed - it's the boyfriend, the father, the local creepy-guy, someone in the police department, it's the supposed mysterious passenger in the car, ad naseum.
Lanyon does an exceptional job of examining Deidre's character (and by extension Maura's) and putting her actions into a context that seems logical and entirely possible. And at the end of the story (and a somewhat hurried heart-stopping resolution), it's jarring to get a fictional solution to a fictional case, while we may never know what actually happened in the case of Maura Murray.
And because this is Josh Lanyon - we get a hurried but sweet start of a relationship between Skylar and Rory who is sent to investigate the case on the behest of (the unnamed in the book) BAU Chief Sam Kennedy.
4 stars for a very poignant take on a true-crime story.
I received an ARC from the author, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.