Dark Friday
Dark Friday

Jeffery Leever

Reviewed by Barb Radmore

Five teenage girls are murdered on the same night on the same small rural  town. One high school student is arrested but the police chief is not convinced he has the right person. As the town mourns the deaths and fears the future, one reporter delves deeper into the events. Reporter Kevin Gibson knows he is on the right track as he is threatened and stalked. A killer must still be on the loose but his identity remains hidden.

The story is see through the eyes of Casey Wood, friend of the circle of boys who seem to be involved in the murders. Although one of his friends has been charged with the murders, Casey is still confused by the circumstances. He has known these guys for years, spent many hours with the group that called themselves the Fraternal Order of Friday. They met to eat pizza and watch horror movies, a genre with which they were all obsessed. As he looks into the murders he finds that he has ignored much of what went on around him, turning a blind, or over accepting, eye on warning signs and ominous omens.

Leever does an exceptional job telling the story back and forth through time. He skips from the murders to the past to the present investigation with an even, smooth flow that adds to the tension of the story. The reader is never very sure of the direction the plot may take, a suspenseful trick of the writing. Leever is able to alter his writing style to meet the pace of the tale, from telling the background of the story in flowing prose to short staccato sentences of action or effective dialogue. The characters are deftly drawn, their personalities and motivations are outlined in stark, black marker but filled in with the colors and hues of a talented writer. They are not comfortable characters, they are the teenagers of parents' nightmares, their surface is calm, their depths' infinate. But, which is what makes the book so chilling, they are portrayed realistically and believably. The controversial topic of modern culture- horror movies and their influence- is examined, and comes out poorly, in this tale of teenage friendship and obsession.

Capital Crime Press has stepped outside their usual fare into this darkly tragic tale.  As always they have chosen carefully and well with this novel, finding in Jeffery Leever another unique voice on the mystery/thriller shelves.

Author Web Site
Publisher Interview
FRONT STREET REVIEWS HOME PAGE