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Publisher's Summary

"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's 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".

©2018 Michael Koryta (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"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)

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    133
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    93
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    64
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    24
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    2
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Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Don't Judge a book by it's cover!

Michael Koryta has written another page turner with this thrilling new book.
The publisher's summary gives so much information that if I provide much more you wouldn't need to get the book. What the summary leaves out is how well told this story is. The protagonist is FBI investigator is Rob Barrett. He believes the story of murder told to him by a woman (based on her reputation ) he should never have believed. The characters are so realistic and believable. You can feel Barrett's anger and frustration. You will actually feel empathy for the woman who claims to be an accomplice in the murder. The father of the murdered girl's pain is palpable.
This is a complex story, but not so much that you'll get lost in it. But there are quite a few characters, each contributing to a piece of the plot.
I really enjoyed the whole book but I thought the end was lacking something.
The narrators Robert Petkoff and Christine Lakin do an excellent job.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

34 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Michael Koryta Rocks!!!

Koryta does it again, and he's definitely one of my favorite suspense writers. Robert Petkoff is suberb of course, and Christine Lakin does such an amazing job with Kimberely's voice at the very beggining that it hooked me right off from the very first sentence. This is one thriller that you won't regret spending a credit on, I listened to it all in one day, basically strait through, I had to learn the truth, that's all I cared about in those 10hrs. I promise you will love this book!!!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mj
  • Meansville, Gabon
  • 05-28-18

Good read

This story is a good mystery and an engaging read. M.Koryta has become one of my favorite authors as he writes stories that are multi-layered and woven through with the "human condition", rather than a formulaic murder mystery. His characters are well developed, and his descriptions of coastal Maine took me there quite vividly.
I include this because these are things I would like to know before purchasing a book: no graphic, unnecessary, violence; no explicit sex scenes, and no abuse of little kids or animals.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Koryta Rocks! Christine Lakin is mesmerizing. Robert Petkoff nails it. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I’m not sure I can convey the absolute excellence in this book. It is extremely well written, from the first word to the last. In full disclosure, Michael Koryta has been a favorite of mine since I first read “So Cold the River,” and, “Last Words.” It's no surprise, therefore, the superb character development and overall level of depth in, “How it Happened.”

I listened to the Audible version and was gripped by the opening narration of Kimberly Crepeaux, by Christine Lakin; brilliant! It truly enhanced the pleasure of this book. We love the characters we should love; hate the ones we should hate; and are at least sympathetic to the ones in between.

I don’t care to give a synopsis of this book, it’s details, as it’s already been well done. I just want to give it my highest recommendation. Even if you know, or think you know, what happened and who did what, where and why, take the ride. It’s well worth the investment. Enjoy

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow

I was hooked from the first few paragraphs. I have read all of Koryta’s books and this was the best by far. I can’t wait for his next one!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 05-18-18

Excellent suspense thriller!

After reading the publisher's summary which contains multiple plot spoilers I almost skipped listening to this novel. But as a fan of Michael Koryta since his 2004 novel Tonight I Said Goodbye which he wrote while a college undergrad, I decided to listen. Koryta's first four novels were in his Lincoln Perry series and all were outstanding. Except for his two novel Mark Novak all of his other novels including this one and six others have been standalone. Koryta has frustrated me by his use of the paranormal (mostly ghosts) in four of his novels. In each case the paranormal had no impact whatever of the story.

How It Happened is a excellent homicide thriller about an FBI agent who believed a girls story about two murders despite her lack of credibility. The agent shows remarkable tenacity. Robert Petkofff narrates the novel brilliantly. The female narrator had a much smaller part and was not very good. My 5 star rating is for Petkoff.

I have rated the story 4 stars rather than 5 due to plot spoilers in the publisher's summary. I suspect the author likely wrote the summary.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Lightweight

Ok but thin story, narrator is good but someone needed to summarize everything in final chapters so it all to make sense. Love the author but he has done better.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • NJS
  • TAUNTON, MA, US
  • 08-16-18

Pretty boring

Two main issues w/ this book:
The story was boring. It plodded along. If I hadn’t just returned 2 books, I would’ve dumped this one. It was tedious & the characters uninteresting. They were always exactly as described. No depth.
My 2nd issue was w/ the narrator. If you aren’t from New England, please don’t attempt our accent. It is tortuous to listen to. You are t good at it, so just read the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Maine story, but with a South Boston accent narration???


Halfway through listening and still distracted by the accents of the performers which sound nothing like any in the state of Maine. (I am a Mainer). They sound straight out of South Boston , like the characters in Ray Donovan. It takes some discipline to ignore this distraction, and to focus an otherwise very good book - good mystery, great characters, solid level of anticipation and surprise. Any chance of re-recording?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very good

The female narrator at the beginning of the book really hooks you into the story. I wish she had continued narrating Kimberly’s parts instead of the man who did the rest of the book.

That being said, I liked the mystery and the story. I would read (or listen to) another one of his books

1 of 1 people found this review helpful