Chase Ford was the first of four generations of Ford men to leave Comanche County, Colorado. For Chase, leaving saved the best and hid the worst. But now, he has come home. His friends are right there waiting for him. And so are his enemies. Then the murder of a boy, a high school basketball star just like Chase, rocks the small town. And when another death is discovered— one that also shares unsettling connections to him—attention turns towards Chase, causing him to wonder just what he came home to. A suspenseful, dramatic crime novel, Kevin Wolf’s The Homeplace captures the stark beauty of life on the plains of Colorado.
I don’t know why, but I had postponed this book for quite some time, always putting other novels before. Maybe my subconscious was warning me, because the truth is that, sadly, I didn’t enjoy this very much.
At first sight, The Homeplace looked like a winner. Small town (check!), a character returning to their hometown (check!) and multiple crimes waiting to be solved (all the checks!). Unfortunately, the book fell flat and I didn’t feel connected to the story, the characters or even the mystery.
I don’t know exactly what the problem was. At first, I kept thinking it would simply take me a while to care about the plot and its characters, but by the time I reached about 50% I realized that moment would never come. I was never interested in the story or Chase, who happened to be the main character.
I read some people talking about the “plot twist”, but I’d never consider this a plot twist at all. If you’ve read enough mysteries, you already know you need to suspect absolutely everyone. I’m not saying it was super predictable, but it didn’t come as a total surprise either. The reasons seemed a bit far-fetched, too.
I feel like I’m being way too negative, but there were actually some things I did like: the novel was a fast read and it didn’t take me long to finish it, so there’s that. In addition, the setting has always been a favorite of mine, so I enjoyed reading about the characters exploring their town surroundings. Also, there was a plot about a long lost love that I wanted to know how would unfold. Regarding the characters, I found Birdie to be the most interesting one.
In the end, this is a book where the mystery looked promising but I believe it never reached its full potential and I guess I expected something quite different. Yes, a lot of things did happen, but there was always something missing and I’m sorry I couldn’t appreciate it more.
Minotaur Books, 2016