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How It Happened

“And that is how it happened. Can we stop now?”
Kimberly Crepeaux is no good, a notorious jailhouse snitch, teen mother, and heroin addict whose petty crimes are well-known to the rural Maine community where she lives. So when she confesses to her role in the brutal murders of Jackie Pelletier and Ian Kelly, the daughter of a well-known local family and her sweetheart, the locals have little reason to believe her story.
Not Rob Barrett, the FBI investigator and interrogator specializing in telling a true confession from a falsehood. He’s been circling Kimberly and her conspirators for months, waiting for the right avenue to the truth, and has finally found it. He knows, as strongly as he’s known anything, that Kimberly’s story-a grisly, harrowing story of a hit and run fueled by dope and cheap beer that becomes a brutal stabbing in cold blood-is how it happened. But one thing remains elusive: where are Jackie and Ian’s bodies?
After Barrett stakes his name and reputation on the truth of Kimberly’s confession, only to have the bodies turn up 200 miles from where she said they’d be, shot in the back and covered in a different suspect’s DNA, the case is quickly closed and Barrett forcibly reassigned. But for Howard Pelletier, the tragedy of his daughter’s murder cannot be so tidily swept away. And for Barrett, whose career may already be over, the chance to help a grieving father may be the only one he has left.
HOW IT HAPPENED is a frightening, tension-filled ride into the dark heart of rural American from a writer Stephen King has called “a master” and the New York Times has deemed “impossible to resist.”

Praise

“Michael Koryta is one hell of a writer, and HOW IT HAPPENED is one hell of a murder mystery. It’s a tribute to Koryta’s craftsmanship and skill that the reader...can’t put the book down until the last layer of the onion is peeled away to reveal the truth at the core of this gripping tale…. A remarkable achievement that rises high above the genre.”

—Nelson DeMille, #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE CUBAN AFFAIR

“This gripping and absorbing story about a protagonist coming to terms with his conflicted past, a lost love, and a crime determined not to be solved, could only be penned by Michael Koryta, whose sense of place, and insight into the human spirit, are unsurpassed.”

—Sandra Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author of SEEING RED

“Is Koryta capable of telling a less-than-gripping tale? … flawless, unpredictable storytelling streaked with his usual dark undercurrents. Crime fiction doesn't get any more enjoyable.”

—Kirkus, starred review

"With this searing look at an investigator's obsessive efforts to close a case that has awakened childhood demons, bestseller Koryta has produced his most powerful novel in years... Koryta, when he's at the top of his game, has few peers in combining murder mysteries with psychological puzzles."

—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“HOW IT HAPPENED may be the summer’s best page-turner..The book casts its spell in revealing the whys and wherefores of the killings. Koryta, who has introduced supernatural elements into several novels, plays it straight here. But that doesn’t mean he fails to deliver his usual blend of dark psychology and pulse-pounding action.”

—The Chicago Tribune

“Absorbing and action-filled”

—The Wall Street Journal

“Ingenious...fluent, rich in vivid detail...Koryta’s plotting is sure-footed, and the secrets he discloses, one by one, at the novel’s end are both surprising and plausible. “How It Happened” is a book the reader wont soon forget.”

—The Washington Post

“Cool and cunning…Koryta is such a skilled writer….gives me goosebumps, a credit to Koryta’s descriptive powers…the story feels like the real deal.”

—New York Times Book Review

“Koryta is at the top of his game in HOW IT HAPPENED. His style remains first rate. There’s a description of a Port Hope ne’er-do-well about two-thirds of the way through the book that is only a paragraph long but makes the man in question jump and dance right off the page. That’s top-notch writing, and Koryta, as always, displays his considerable chops throughout the novel.”

—Book Reporter

“Koryta just keeps getting better… This beautifully drawn story, with captivating characters, is impossible to put down.”

—The Daily Mail (London)

“A compelling psychological thriller…a well-crafted mystery, and in Barrett (Koryta) gives us a character who’s engaging, but has his own slowly revealed demons to contend with.”

—The Tampa Bay Times