Kevin, Murder Beneath the Pines

Kevin King works as a controller at the Plasticoat Surplus Company in Bangor, Maine. As the office scapegoat, he is humiliated ceaselessly by his boss, Tom Crane. Kevin’s one ally within his office hell is an administrative temp by the name of Sarah. He remains steadfast in his belief in a burgeoning relationship until the day her desk remains unoccupied with no communication from Sarah. One day leads to two then to three and Kevin grows concerned despite the cavalier attitude from his boss. Kevin decides there is more to Sarah’s absence than just time away and he enlists the aid of John Windom, a colleague, and reluctant friend. John’s conspiratorial theories involving the CIA only heighten Kevin’s despair and he decides to turn to the internet for clues to Sarah’s disappearance. He uncovers a document from 2004 detailing the Paranormal Society of the University of Maine to which Sarah belonged.

The story of a beast haunting the woods of a small Maine town in 2004, was headlining the local newspaper. The Paranormal Society from the University of Maine was given the unusual opportunity to complete research in the woods to both allay fears from the town of its non-existence or, to convince whatever was haunting to move on. What happened in the woods on that April night, forever changed the group of researchers and tore apart the Paranormal Society. Logan Wagner, a member of the Society and a good friend of Sarah’s was found dead. His untimely death the night of the expedition was ruled a suicide. Kevin turns to the police in desperation as Sarah’s disappearance wears on. Detective Ian Glenn and Officer Dana Levin investigate Kevin’s claims and in doing so, discover a deeper connection between the apparent missing woman and Logan Wagner, spurning Detective Glenn to take an interest in Logan’s death. Kevin’s family history and the disappearance of his friend collide as they search for Sarah at his family’s abandoned farmhouse. They search the woods looking for the lost Sarah Ford, but instead, discover a body of a man brutally stabbed. Has Kevin unwittingly uncovered a murder through his concern for a friend? As the search for Sarah continues, the body of a woman from a local diner is also discovered and Detective Glenn looks to Kevin King as a person of interest. As the details of the deaths emerge, Detective Glenn draws comparisons to Logan Wagner’s demise fifteen years earlier and the murders of two beloved townspeople. With Officer Levin by his side, Detective Glenn remains determined to solve the recent murders and to re-open the death of Logan Wagner. He enlists the aid of his Captain and together, they converge on the King property one last time. There, they discover that not everything is as it appears, and Kevin King is the key to everything.

Captain Genoa thinks he recognizes a patron in Bert’s Place, yet he is hesitant in becoming reacquainted. Especially in the dead of night.
Kevin is very aware of his surroundings and of his ties to the forest on his family’s property. He’s almost a brother to the trees.
Bruce Owens was always skiddish in the woods. It seems he had good reason.
My favorite line in the book, I gave the farmhouse human qualities. It is more than a setting, its a character. A witness to the family’s dysfunction and their ultimate downfall.
Kevin’s lunch with his mother is fraught with weighted anxiety and unspoken past tensions. A little humor helps to breaks up the scene.