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Carolina Moonset

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Both suspenseful and deeply moving, Carolina Moonset is an engrossing novel about family, memories both golden and terrible, and secrets too dangerous to stay hidden forever, from New York Times bestselling and Emmy Award-winning author, Matt Goldman. Joey Green has returned to Beaufort, South Carolina, with its palmettos and shrimp boats, to look after his ailing father, w Both suspenseful and deeply moving, Carolina Moonset is an engrossing novel about family, memories both golden and terrible, and secrets too dangerous to stay hidden forever, from New York Times bestselling and Emmy Award-winning author, Matt Goldman. Joey Green has returned to Beaufort, South Carolina, with its palmettos and shrimp boats, to look after his ailing father, who is succumbing to dementia, while his overstressed mother takes a break. Marshall Green’s short-term memory has all but evaporated, but, as if in compensation, his oldest memories are more vivid than ever. His mind keeps slipping backwards in time, retreating into long-ago yesterdays of growing up in Beaufort as a boy. At first this seems like a blessing of sorts, with the past providing a refuge from a shrinking future, but Joey grows increasingly anxious as his father’s hallucinatory arguments with figures from his youth begin to hint at deadly secrets, scandals, and suspicions long buried and forgotten. Resurfacing from decades past are mysteries that still have the power to shatter lives—and change everything Joey thought he knew. Especially when a new murder brings the police to his door...


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Both suspenseful and deeply moving, Carolina Moonset is an engrossing novel about family, memories both golden and terrible, and secrets too dangerous to stay hidden forever, from New York Times bestselling and Emmy Award-winning author, Matt Goldman. Joey Green has returned to Beaufort, South Carolina, with its palmettos and shrimp boats, to look after his ailing father, w Both suspenseful and deeply moving, Carolina Moonset is an engrossing novel about family, memories both golden and terrible, and secrets too dangerous to stay hidden forever, from New York Times bestselling and Emmy Award-winning author, Matt Goldman. Joey Green has returned to Beaufort, South Carolina, with its palmettos and shrimp boats, to look after his ailing father, who is succumbing to dementia, while his overstressed mother takes a break. Marshall Green’s short-term memory has all but evaporated, but, as if in compensation, his oldest memories are more vivid than ever. His mind keeps slipping backwards in time, retreating into long-ago yesterdays of growing up in Beaufort as a boy. At first this seems like a blessing of sorts, with the past providing a refuge from a shrinking future, but Joey grows increasingly anxious as his father’s hallucinatory arguments with figures from his youth begin to hint at deadly secrets, scandals, and suspicions long buried and forgotten. Resurfacing from decades past are mysteries that still have the power to shatter lives—and change everything Joey thought he knew. Especially when a new murder brings the police to his door...

30 review for Carolina Moonset

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    This novel was a wonderful surprise!! This galley landed in my mailbox and, endorsed by one of my favorite authors, William Kent Krueger, I had to read it!! It also takes place in South Carolina, a state that we love to visit!! Joey Geen, our main protagonist, lives in Chicago with his two children. They are currently spending a vacation with his ex-wife and Joey takes this time to visit his father in Beaufort, South Carolina. Joey knows that his father has Lewy body dementia but is surprised at This novel was a wonderful surprise!! This galley landed in my mailbox and, endorsed by one of my favorite authors, William Kent Krueger, I had to read it!! It also takes place in South Carolina, a state that we love to visit!! Joey Geen, our main protagonist, lives in Chicago with his two children. They are currently spending a vacation with his ex-wife and Joey takes this time to visit his father in Beaufort, South Carolina. Joey knows that his father has Lewy body dementia but is surprised at the rate at which the disease has eaten away at his father’s short term memory. His mother has been Marshall’s sole caregiver and Joey convinces her to take a few days away with her friends to relax and prepare for what comes next. While Marshall’s short term memory is getting worse and worse, he can’t even remember what he had for breakfast, his long term memory becomes even more vivid than it was. He remembers things from 50 years ago and starts to talk about things that Joey has never heard of before. He has also started to have hallucinations and conversations with people not in the room. Joey, his dad, and a great friend, Bubba, spend a lot of time fishing off the coast. All is well until Joey leaves his father alone for a few hours one evening, forgetting to lock just one door. Unfortunately during this time a local murder takes place. Tom Hammond, a wealthy local businessman is shot and it is well known that Marshall has never liked the Hammonds. What transpires next is a great unraveling of two mysteries, one long hidden and one current. I loved sleuthing with Joey and Leela and also enjoyed watching their relationship grow. WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK: The characters felt so real!! Incredibly well described, with their backgrounds and present time to define them, I grew to love the people in this small town. I found them relatable and believable. The atmosphere was wonderful!! I love spending time along the South Carolina coast and this small coastal town sounded like a great place to visit. Time spent out fishing was a time for bonding, friendship and storytelling – I loved it. The writing was excellent. The pace was even and flowed well, there were no lags in the story and I flew through it. The mysteries were multi-layered and it took a lot of sleuthing and time spent with different characters to come to the conclusion of the novel. I felt happy at the ending and felt that justice had been served!! I can recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well written mystery and would like to spend some time in this beautiful coastal area!! I received a galley of this novel from the publisher. It was my pleasure to read and review this title. This novel is set to publish on May 31, 2022 #MacMillan Influencer program

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sujoya

    3.5⭐ At the onset of the novel, we meet 45-year-old Joey Green, a divorced father of two, who travels from Chicago to Beaufort, South Carolina to help his mother take care of his 75-year-old father, Marshall, who has recently been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. His father, a doctor by profession, spent his whole life tending to the needs of patients in a free clinic for the less privileged and moved back to Beaufort after a long career in Chicago. Marshall's illness has adversely affected his 3.5⭐ At the onset of the novel, we meet 45-year-old Joey Green, a divorced father of two, who travels from Chicago to Beaufort, South Carolina to help his mother take care of his 75-year-old father, Marshall, who has recently been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. His father, a doctor by profession, spent his whole life tending to the needs of patients in a free clinic for the less privileged and moved back to Beaufort after a long career in Chicago. Marshall's illness has adversely affected his short-term recall but his ability to recollect events from his past is stronger and he is able to describe his memories from decades ago with astonishing clarity. Marshall also experiences bouts of hallucinations wherein he strikes up conversations with people from his past. As Joey spends more time with his father, Marshall shares his memories of his own life as a child growing up in Beaufort and often brings up fond memories from Joey's and Joey's sisters' childhoods. “My father had lost most of those distractions. He couldn’t hold anything in his head long enough to anesthetize himself with the simple diversion of thinking ahead. His past was his only safe haven. He could linger there to relive what he’d already lived. His present offered nothing but giant steps toward the end.” When an affluent and influential member of the community is found murdered and clues point to the murder weapon being a pistol owned by Marshall, it is up to Joey to prove his father’s innocence as the police seem to close in on Marshall as a suspect. He is aided by Leela, also divorced and the daughter of his parents’ neighbors, with whom both sets of parents are intent on setting him up. From his father’s recollections, Joey also learns of two previous murders, dating back decades, of people close to Marshall. Joey must figure out whether the present-day murder is in any way connected to the events in his father’s past. Matt Goldman’s Carolina Moonset is a beautifully penned novel. The setting is atmospheric and I loved the descriptions of the coastal town and the community. Goldman’s writing is impressive as are the characterizations. Both Joey’s and Marshall’s characters are very well–developed. Though the plot has a murder mystery at its core, the novel touches upon themes of love, family, community and aging. While I did enjoy the banter between Leela and Joey, I felt that the romantic track was unnecessary and rushed. The author paints a moving picture of the emotional toll that Marshall’s diagnosis has on his family and Joey’s helplessness as he witnesses his father’s health deteriorating and his desire to cherish every moment he can with his father is heartbreaking. Given that the story vacillates between the impact of Marshall’s illness on the Greens’ lives and the murder mystery, the pace does fluctuate which is not a problem. The author does a fine job of balancing both aspects of the story. The interactions between Joey and his father were deeply moving as was the bond the Green family shared with their friends and neighbors.The final reveal is a surprise and I enjoyed the build-up . This is my first Matt Goldman novel and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future. “There are moments in life when you feel a truth so irrefutable that every thought and emotion you’ve ever experienced, every joy and hardship, falls into alignment. In that pinhole of time life makes sense.”

  3. 5 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    My parents owned dozens of paintings by local artists, but the one in the foyer was the only one that depicted night. And it’s the only painting I remembered from my childhood. It showed the dark marsh in heavy brushstrokes. A sprawling oak in the foreground framed an expanse of reeds. A tidal creek snaked through the reeds. The tide was out, and the creek’s muddy bottom reflected the moonlight. A clump of more oaks in the distance lay dark under the full moon shining above them. And behind t My parents owned dozens of paintings by local artists, but the one in the foyer was the only one that depicted night. And it’s the only painting I remembered from my childhood. It showed the dark marsh in heavy brushstrokes. A sprawling oak in the foreground framed an expanse of reeds. A tidal creek snaked through the reeds. The tide was out, and the creek’s muddy bottom reflected the moonlight. A clump of more oaks in the distance lay dark under the full moon shining above them. And behind those oaks, the dark shadow of an immense home, no light in the windows except for one on the second floor. The marsh is beautiful during the day, changing colors with the angle of the sun. But it’s eerie at night. Too many secrets hiding in its vastness and in its crevices. The sea comes in and the sea goes out. Only it knows what’s hidden in the marsh. The name of that painting is Carolina Moonset. It always gave him the creeps. Too bad the artist’s signature is smudged. Matt Goldman - image from Amazon Forty-something Joe Green (not mean at all) is visiting Beaufort, South Carolina (lives and works in Chicago) to help mom, Carol, take care of his ailing father. Marshall Green, 75, is a good guy who had passed on having a lucrative medical career to open a free clinic on Chicago’s South Side. When he retired, he returned to his home town. Dad is suffering with Lewy Body Dementia, second most widespread form of dementia, after Alzheimer’s. My mother sat down next to me and said, “It’s like when a person loses their sight, their hearing improves. Except with Dad, he’s lost his short-term memory, and his long-term memory has improved. He tells stories I’ve never heard before.” Well, that’s one element. Another is that he sometimes talks to people who are not there, which can be unnerving. One such is long-late friend Trip Patterson, who died very young, under dodgy circumstances. Joey is curious who this guy was and begins looking into some family history. “Aw, Joey. You were always a good fisherman. Even when you were tiny you were fascinated by what you couldn’t see below the surface. That’s what fishing is all about. Curiosity and the patience to learn.” Fishing of all sorts will be done. Soon after Joe’s arrival a local bigwig is shot dead in the street. Pops did not have a high opinion of the man or his family. Those Hammonds are nasty sons a bitches. Every one of ’em. Stole that island from the blacks. When the Union Army came through, they gave black people their own land. Gave ’em a chance. And it worked, too. The people prospered. Until the goddamn Klan took over and redistributed the land.” My father had venom in his voice. “Redistributed the land with guns and knives and ropes and trees. I wouldn’t live on Hammond Island if you paid me a million dollars. Hope a hurricane wipes it off the face of the earth.” Despite his considerable impairments, Marshall is considered a suspect. Particularly when the gun that did the dark deed sure looks like dad’s old revolver. And when Joey looks for his father’s gun, why is it not the usual place? Did Pop pop Thomas Hammond, whether he remembers doing it or not? Faces from the past re-emerge, whether in person or in memory alone. Questions remains, like what ever happened to Roy Hammond, Thomas’s brother, who vanished under mysterious circumstances? What’s the deal with Thomas’s much younger glam-wife, Gail? As a forty-something, in town sans kids, Joe is prime matchmaking material for his parents’ set. It seems that their next-door neighbors just happen to have a forty-something divorced daughter, Leela, in town for a holiday visit. The senior circuit angles to get them together. And lo and behold, Joey and Leela hit it off remarkably fast. I was single in my mid 40’s like Joey, and people in my parents’ generation, including my parents, would often mention single women they knew of. I think some people in that generation are less comfortable with a younger person being single, so they try to play matchmaker. I also wanted Joey to have a partner in his informal investigation—someone in whom he could confide—and adding a romantic element to that felt not only fun but true in that life presents beautiful magic and brutal reality at the same time. And finally, I recently experienced a Joey/Leela like courtship. I met my wife in February of 2018 and we married that same year in October. I wanted to show how a combination of chemistry and life-experience can lead to that kind of relationship in a grounded way. - DAB interview Joe and Leela team up to see below the surface to what might be swimming in the deeper waters, as they try to land a killer. I found their relationship delightful. And can attest, from personal experience, to the possibility of a quick connection between mid-life divorced/single people. Leads are followed. Murder suspects make their way across the page, along with their theoretical motives. In a book with fishing as an element, there are, of course, red herrings. Bait is employed to good effect. The who and why-dunnit puzzles will keep you casting a line flipping the pages for more. The story takes place in the present, but there are many references to mid 20th century, when some long-ago crimes are crying out to be solved. At the center of these, the Hammond and Green brothers were young men with diverse world views, and some serious personal conflicts. In addition to the fun of the mysteries and the investigation, Goldman also offers a look at the racist, classist realities of South Carolina, both the actions that took place in the past and their ripples forward to the present. GRIPES The cops are portrayed as soulless dolts, which is common enough in mysteries, but remains a disappointing accession to default settings. There are several mentions of Joey’s sisters, but they manage to remain off screen and out of mind once noted. Why include them at all if they are to serve no role? There are several instances of what seemed trite wisdom being proferred. Here is a sample as teenagers, girls grow more complicated and difficult and boys more stoic. That is a generalization. A stereotype. But having been a boy who fit the stereotype, I believe stoicism is a mischaracterization of our behavior. We are not more stoic than girls. We are more ashamed. Of our boy-thoughts and risky deeds, mostly revolving around or inspired by sex or at least the idea of sex. That seemingly unattainable nirvana ignited by blossoming bodies and invisible pheromones. That shame sends us underground. Quiets us. Our vortex of shame is so powerful all our thoughts and deeds get sucked into it, so we share nothing. another A friend once told me women have face-to-face relationships and men have shoulder-to-shoulder relationships. Men do things like watch football and go fishing. Ok, it is starting to seem like the Gripes piece is getting large. I do not want to give the impression that I disliked this book at all. In fact, I quite enjoyed it. The gripes are merely what kept me from adding that final star. There is a lot in Carolina Moonset that is lovely, nice bits of craft that reinforced the steady forward movement of the plot with some meaningful imagery. Paintings, for example, stand out. Not just the strong image of the book-title work. Joe’s uncle David has a painting over his desk and there is a framed work in the Hammond residence that offers some food for thought. Even the word painting is used in other contexts to offer a perspective. So fear not. Carolina Moonset is a fun mystery with an appealing dynamic duo of amateurs slogging through a marsh of information trying to figure out multiple crimes, one now, others back then, without much help, in fact with only interference from the po-po. The addition of historical/cultural payload makes it even richer. If you reel this one in, pretty soon you will be the one who’s been hooked. From where I’m sitting, Thomas Hammond’s motto must have been Think Globally, Destroy Locally. Review posted – June 3, 2022 Publication date – May 31, 2022 I received an EPUB of Carolina Moonset from Forge/Macmillan in return for a fair review, and a lovely mint julep. Thanks, folks. And thanks to NetGalley for facilitating. This review has been cross-posted on my site, Coot’s Reviews. Stop by and say Hi! =============================EXTRA STUFF Links to the author’s personalFB, Instagram, and Twitter pages From About the Author New York Times bestselling author MATT GOLDMAN is a playwright and Emmy Award-winning television writer for Seinfeld, Ellen, and other shows. Goldman has been nominated for the Shamus and Nero Wolfe Awards and is a Lariat Award Winner. He lives in Minnesota with his wife, two dogs, two cats, and whichever children happen to be around. Interview -----Donnell Ann Bell - Author Interview with Matt Goldman & Carolina Moonset Items of Interest from the author -----Macmillan - excerpt Songs/Music -----Fiddler on the Roof - Matchmaker ----- James Taylor - Carolina in My Mind A personal aside – a tiny bit spoilerish, but not enough to hide. I understand that some might scoff at the speed at which Joey and Leela bond with each other. I can relate to the notion of finding the right person on the second-go-round fairly quickly. I was around the same age as Joey, first marriage done, when I encountered the woman who would become my second wife. It was not a matter of days, as with Joey and Leela, but it was quick as such things go. (I did suggest marriage after our second or third in-person date, if memory serves. But that might have had something to do with a good friend of hers having season tickets to the Mets.) When you reach a certain point in life, you have a sense, in fairly short order, of whether a relationship is likely to work out or not, or at least whether it might be possible. Turns out it was. We have now been married for twenty-one years. (as of 2022)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life)

    This review can also be found at https://carolesrandomlife.com/ This book was terrific! I went into this book without any expectations since I hadn’t heard a whole lot about it. It didn’t take me very long to determine that I had stumbled on an absolute gem. This book blends several genres seamlessly and is filled with realistic and likable characters. Once I started reading this book, I did not want to put it down. Joey Green is on a visit to the small town of Beaufort, South Carolina, to spend s This review can also be found at https://carolesrandomlife.com/ This book was terrific! I went into this book without any expectations since I hadn’t heard a whole lot about it. It didn’t take me very long to determine that I had stumbled on an absolute gem. This book blends several genres seamlessly and is filled with realistic and likable characters. Once I started reading this book, I did not want to put it down. Joey Green is on a visit to the small town of Beaufort, South Carolina, to spend some time with his father who is suffering from Lewy’s body dementia. He encourages his mother to take a trip since he can watch out for his father for a few days. Everything seems to be going well until a murder in the neighborhood brings the police to their front door. Joey’s father is stuck in the past since he has lost his short-term memory and seems to be talking to people from the past who aren’t there. Are the events from the past connected to the current murder? What exactly does Joey’s father know? I thought that this book was incredibly well written. I was hooked by this book from the very start. The family drama surrounding the decline of Joey’s father and the toll it has taken on his mother was really well done. The change in Joey’s father’s mental status was upsetting not only for the family but for him as well. The mysteries from the past and the current murder kept me guessing and I enjoyed trying to figure out exactly what happened and how things might be connected. There is even a bit of romance between Joey and the neighbors’ daughter, Leela. I thought that Joey and Leela were great together and made a great team in trying to solve the mysteries. I really liked that they are a bit older and had a lot to figure out if they wanted to try to make a relationship work. I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this story was an incredibly enjoyable read that left me thinking about the story anytime I had to set the book aside to deal with life. I will have to check out some of Matt Goldman’s other works. I received a review copy of this book from Forge Books. Initial Thoughts This was fantastic! I may bump my rating up a bit after I have some time to completely process everything. I was completely taken with this mystery and couldn't wait to find out exactly what happened. An incredibly well-written story that kept me glued to the pages.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Hoover

    In Carolina Moonset, Matt Goldman probes beneath the seemingly smooth surface of small town life to explore inner family relationships as well as the complex, often volatile relationships between families - especially those of different social status. He takes readers on a journey inside the mind of a man with dementia with virtually no short-term memory, but perfect recall of past memories that threaten to destroy the lives of loved ones in the here and now. Carolina Moonset is a twisted story In Carolina Moonset, Matt Goldman probes beneath the seemingly smooth surface of small town life to explore inner family relationships as well as the complex, often volatile relationships between families - especially those of different social status. He takes readers on a journey inside the mind of a man with dementia with virtually no short-term memory, but perfect recall of past memories that threaten to destroy the lives of loved ones in the here and now. Carolina Moonset is a twisted story of how past memories that refuse to stay buried change the present and future of one small town and its people. Joey Green returns to his childhood home to help his mom care for his dad Marshall Green who is suffering from advanced dementia. Joey's surprised how badly his father has deteriorated since he last saw him and is baffled by the weird one-sided conversations his dad is carrying on with deceased childhood friends. When Joey convinces his mom to take a much needed few days away with friends, he's left to care for his father alone. There are locks on the doors preventing his dad from getting out, and so Joey leaves him alone for a few hours while he pursues a budding relationship with the daughter of family friends next door. When Joey returns home to find the back door unlocked and his father eating a fresh picked orange, he has an ominous feeling that something is seriously wrong. He's proven right when news of the late night murder of a prominent businessman circulates through the town's people the next morning . . . a man his father repeatedly proclaimed to hate. As the investigation progresses, the past and present clash as all roads lead back to Joey's father as the murderer. Joey doesn't believe his father capable of murder, but if he didn't do it, who did? The one character who knows the truth about the past is highly unreliable in spite of his ability to remember past events with precision, and his inability to recall the present means he can not truthfully say that he did not murder a man he considered his arch enemy. As Joey works to clear his father's name, shocking past events threaten to rock his world and destroy his family. Will the truth set them free? Or shatter his family into a million pieces? Carolina Moonset is an intriguing, twisted story that unfolds at a steady pace charging readers with finding the connection between past and present murders and how they tie to the Green family. Goldman has rendered a potent story about the power of family, love and secrets. The poignant late life journey of a man with a mentally debilitating disease is brilliantly depicted, along with the consequences of his past actions to both him and his family. I found the plot line to be intriguing as I worked to solve the mystery of both past and present murders. With the introduction of several red herrings, the list of suspects expanded. I was lucky to figure things out fairly early in the second half, but it didn't diminish my enjoyment of this book in any way. I highly recommend Carolina Moonset to fans of family dramas, mystery and suspense. Carve out some time to dive into this mystery and see where it leads you. Many thanks to Forge Books for an arc of this book. Review published in Mystery & Suspense Magazine Reviewed posted at Cross My Heart Reviews

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I got hooked on this book - especially Joey Green, the main character, in the first chapter and my love of this character never diminished. This book has it all - family dealing with an aging parent, love, a bit of sex and a mystery that gets deeper as the book goes on and ends with a surprise ending. The other plus for me were the beautiful descriptions of Beaufort, South Carolina, one of my favorite cities to visit. Joey is a 45 year old divorced man with two children. He's come to visit from C I got hooked on this book - especially Joey Green, the main character, in the first chapter and my love of this character never diminished. This book has it all - family dealing with an aging parent, love, a bit of sex and a mystery that gets deeper as the book goes on and ends with a surprise ending. The other plus for me were the beautiful descriptions of Beaufort, South Carolina, one of my favorite cities to visit. Joey is a 45 year old divorced man with two children. He's come to visit from Chicago to help his mother take care of his father who has advanced Alzheimer's. As his father's short term memory disappears, his long term memory comes alive. Most days, he can't remember eating right after he finishes a meal but he can tell long and involved stories about his childhood. At first it seems like a blessing to have his long term memory become so vivid. But when he starts talking to old friends that aren't there, secrets from his youth come to light. Even though his hallucinations are from years earlier, the truth could cause damage to many people in town. Joey starts investigating when an enemy of his father gets shot and his father's gun is missing. As Joey talks to long-term residents of Beaufort, the mystery slowly unravels but it needs to be better understood so that the wrong people don't get blamed for what happened. This story really touched my heart and, yes, caused a few tears. From what Joey said, his father used to be a strong dedicated doctor who took care of the poor. To see what was happening to him due to his disease was difficult and I felt the love that Joey had for him and the despair that he was feeling about his disease. Joey believed that he was not an empathetic person but he was wrong, The empathy that he showed his parents at this dark time in their lives was wonderful. Matt Goldman is a new author for me and this book impressed me so much that I plan to read his earlier books soon. Thanks to Bookish Firsts for a copy of this book to read and review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    Loved it--especially the dynamic between the adult son & his aging father. Some very touching scenes even sparked a few tears. The mystery was interesting & unpredictable with just the right touch of romance. Sympathetic, fleshed out characters made it easy to spend time in this story world. So glad I stumbled upon this excellent read through Publisher's Weekly. I'll be sure to check out other books by this author! Loved it--especially the dynamic between the adult son & his aging father. Some very touching scenes even sparked a few tears. The mystery was interesting & unpredictable with just the right touch of romance. Sympathetic, fleshed out characters made it easy to spend time in this story world. So glad I stumbled upon this excellent read through Publisher's Weekly. I'll be sure to check out other books by this author!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    It's an enjoyable read! A variety of themes are covered: family relationships, secrets from years ago, murder, romance, caregiving for a loved one with Lewy Body Dementia, and racial biases are all covered in this book. It's easy to understand and the chapters are short, making it easy to put the book down whenever you need a good stopping place. The story has a male protagonist who narrates the story. The author is also male, and I sensed his male point of view very quickly in my reading. The s It's an enjoyable read! A variety of themes are covered: family relationships, secrets from years ago, murder, romance, caregiving for a loved one with Lewy Body Dementia, and racial biases are all covered in this book. It's easy to understand and the chapters are short, making it easy to put the book down whenever you need a good stopping place. The story has a male protagonist who narrates the story. The author is also male, and I sensed his male point of view very quickly in my reading. The story becomes more and more entertaining as it progresses. I did not discover the identity of the murderer on my own! The story is set in Beaufort, South Carolina, which I have heard is a beautiful setting. The author made some references to its beauty, but I would have liked more of that.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Joey Green, mid forties and divorced, travels to small town South Carolina to spend time with his parents, and more specifially his dad, Marshall, who is struggling with demetia and having a hard time. Joey convinces his mom to go with friends to a pickleball tournament in Florida, and promises to keep a close eye on his dad while she is away. Marshall's short term memory is horrible, but he can remember the past clear as day. He beings talking a lot about the past, to the point of holding conver Joey Green, mid forties and divorced, travels to small town South Carolina to spend time with his parents, and more specifially his dad, Marshall, who is struggling with demetia and having a hard time. Joey convinces his mom to go with friends to a pickleball tournament in Florida, and promises to keep a close eye on his dad while she is away. Marshall's short term memory is horrible, but he can remember the past clear as day. He beings talking a lot about the past, to the point of holding conversations with people who aren’t there but were in his life as a young man. The family attributes this to his dementia. When one of the town's influential men is murdered, questions are asked and suspicion falls on Marshall. He cannot remember anything about the night of the murder due to his short term memory issues. Secrets start being revealed and the past and present start to become one. Joey is fighting to prove his father's innocence which dredges upon an old tragedy and other unresolved matters. Both the past and present mysteries were captivating, and I was taken off guard when we found out the present day killer! The scenery description was amazing and I could easily envision the Carolina marshes and landscape. The characers were all well developed, right down to the small parts, and this book was just an amazing read! Many thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Forge Books for providing me an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nan Williams

    Very sweet story set in Beaufort, SC. The descriptions of Beaufort brought back wonderful memories of visiting relatives there in the 60s, 70s and 80s. The first half of the book is taken up with descriptions of the locale, of the family and of Lewy Body Dementia so the plot takes a while to develop. By the second half, the plot is beginning to get interesting and mostly wraps up satisfactorily at the end. This is an excellent read for when you want something light. I received this ARC from NetGall Very sweet story set in Beaufort, SC. The descriptions of Beaufort brought back wonderful memories of visiting relatives there in the 60s, 70s and 80s. The first half of the book is taken up with descriptions of the locale, of the family and of Lewy Body Dementia so the plot takes a while to develop. By the second half, the plot is beginning to get interesting and mostly wraps up satisfactorily at the end. This is an excellent read for when you want something light. I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, Forge Books, in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dive Into A Good Book

    How well do we know our parents? We think we know them well, their highs and lows, what makes them tick, what irritates them, what really gets under their skin. But do we really know them? The youthful, fun-loving characters that they were. This is the question that continuously popped into my mind as I read this exquisite slow burn. As Joey Green is confronted with a father whose mind is slowly being eaten away by Lewy Body Dementia. His short-term memory is shot, but his youth and Marshall's m How well do we know our parents? We think we know them well, their highs and lows, what makes them tick, what irritates them, what really gets under their skin. But do we really know them? The youthful, fun-loving characters that they were. This is the question that continuously popped into my mind as I read this exquisite slow burn. As Joey Green is confronted with a father whose mind is slowly being eaten away by Lewy Body Dementia. His short-term memory is shot, but his youth and Marshall's masterful storytelling is a gift of its own. A gift that Joey will treasure for years to come. When Marshall's stories begin to become a bit darker and he begins to imagine people from his past, Joey and his mother become more concerned. It makes Joey want to delve deep into his father's history and find out what really happened in the early 1950s. Deeply buried secrets have a way of becoming known. And other secrets should always be kept as secrets. The characters are masterfully written. They slowly draw you into their world making you feel the pain of slowly watching a parent disappear before your eyes. The emotion and turmoil are written in such a way that your heart will never be the same. There is laughter and a new love that shines throughout the book, which offers an amazing balance. The descriptions of Beaufort, South Carolina make you want to pack your bags and catch the first flight out. The ever-changing marsh, which brings new beauty with each passing day. The astonishing architecture and the history make you crave this very town. You will find yourself completely immersed in this world of southern hospitality and the mystery that has been buried by Marshall Green since he was a young man. You know I am a sucker for a good secret. Thank you to Matt Goldman, Forge Books, and Storygram Tours for sending me this gorgeously written book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    I loved everything about this book: the characters, the setting, the mystery, and the story centered around an aging parent suffering from Lewy Body Dementia. Joey Green flies down from Chicago to Beaufort, South Carolina, to spend a week helping his mother care for his ailing father, Marshall. Marshall Green has trouble recalling if he ate breakfast, but his memories of the past are very strong and accurate. When a very prominent member of Beaufort's town is murdered, suspicion immediately fall I loved everything about this book: the characters, the setting, the mystery, and the story centered around an aging parent suffering from Lewy Body Dementia. Joey Green flies down from Chicago to Beaufort, South Carolina, to spend a week helping his mother care for his ailing father, Marshall. Marshall Green has trouble recalling if he ate breakfast, but his memories of the past are very strong and accurate. When a very prominent member of Beaufort's town is murdered, suspicion immediately falls on Marshall, who has no love for Thomas Hammond. It's up to Joey to unravel the past and figure out who has a bigger grudge against the Hammond family than his father. This is a poignant story about love for one's family and how the past is never really forgotten.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    4.5 I'm a big fan of Mr Goldman's Nils Shapiro books, and this one-off mystery was just as awesome, with its moodiness and character-driven plot. There is a slow southern tone with this South Carolina setting, but it goes fast. I couldn't put this down, as Joey Green has to find the murderer before the police convince themselves that his father did it. The mystery is well done and I was pleasantly surprised that it included a romance, insta-love though it was. For folks who like family secret my 4.5 I'm a big fan of Mr Goldman's Nils Shapiro books, and this one-off mystery was just as awesome, with its moodiness and character-driven plot. There is a slow southern tone with this South Carolina setting, but it goes fast. I couldn't put this down, as Joey Green has to find the murderer before the police convince themselves that his father did it. The mystery is well done and I was pleasantly surprised that it included a romance, insta-love though it was. For folks who like family secret mysteries, and anyone who loves Harlan Coben will like this!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brad

    Most books set in the Low Country of SC are beach romances, so I was glad to see Carolina Moonset by Matt Goldman - crime fiction set in Beaufort, SC. "Joey Green has returned to Beaufort to help care for his father, who suffers from dementia. His father's short-term memory is gone, but he still remembers all of his old stories. Joey becomes worried when his father, Marshall, starts hallucinating and talking to people that aren't there. And then a prominent developer is murdered and several thing Most books set in the Low Country of SC are beach romances, so I was glad to see Carolina Moonset by Matt Goldman - crime fiction set in Beaufort, SC. "Joey Green has returned to Beaufort to help care for his father, who suffers from dementia. His father's short-term memory is gone, but he still remembers all of his old stories. Joey becomes worried when his father, Marshall, starts hallucinating and talking to people that aren't there. And then a prominent developer is murdered and several things point to Marshall being the killer." Goldman keeps the reader guessing. You're never quite sure who the killer is until the end. The story has great flow and pace. Lots of secrets. A couple of stereotypical southern characters, but not too much. Interesting dating experiment between Leela and Joey - What if on your very first date you told each other your worst faults? Get the bad things out of the way. Some interesting conversations between those two. Good story from Goldman.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Aristotle

    In one of Matt Goldman's books he wrote 'when an Alzheimer's patient finally succumbs to the disease, it's less tragic because a big part of what you loved is already gone.' Joey Green has returned to Beaufort, South Carolina to look after his ailing father, who is succumbing to Lewy Body Dementia. That's the same disease that Robin Williams had. After reading this I can see what drove Robin. It was no way to live. A well written book In one of Matt Goldman's books he wrote 'when an Alzheimer's patient finally succumbs to the disease, it's less tragic because a big part of what you loved is already gone.' Joey Green has returned to Beaufort, South Carolina to look after his ailing father, who is succumbing to Lewy Body Dementia. That's the same disease that Robin Williams had. After reading this I can see what drove Robin. It was no way to live. A well written book

  16. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Really enjoyed this- review to follow

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I loved the 2nd half of this book. The twists and turns kept me very interested, and I really enjoyed the storyline. Joey peels the onion to learn the truth about Delphi, Trip, and several members of the Hammond Family. In the first half of the book, I felt like several of Joey’s questions about people from his dad’s past were forced. They didn’t seem to fit well. I wish that Jory’s curiosity regarding people from his dad’s past melded into the story a bit more seamlessly.

  18. 5 out of 5

    AndiReads

    Joey Green returns to Beaufort, South Carolina, to care for his father who suffers from a form of dementia and to give his mom a much needed break. While his mom travels to Florida with friends, Joey spends time with his dad fishing and meeting up with neighbors. Joey's dad has little short term memory left but remembers the past more and more vividly. He has short outbursts with invisible foes and is agitated when he reminisces about childhood activities. These outburst reveals some mysteries a Joey Green returns to Beaufort, South Carolina, to care for his father who suffers from a form of dementia and to give his mom a much needed break. While his mom travels to Florida with friends, Joey spends time with his dad fishing and meeting up with neighbors. Joey's dad has little short term memory left but remembers the past more and more vividly. He has short outbursts with invisible foes and is agitated when he reminisces about childhood activities. These outburst reveals some mysteries and as Joey tries to get to the bottom of them, the police come to the door. Carolina Moonset is by well known writer Matt Goldman. He paints great and believable characters and even throws in a love interest to root for. Moonset is tense and burning but also emotional as Joey is forced to deal with secrets from the past. If. you like slow burns, South Carolina settings or just a family secret based mystery, #CarolinaMoonset is for you! #Macmillan #macmillanTor #tor

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lilibet Bombshell

    I have a confession to make: I have a huge reservoir of affection for books involving the low country and barrier islands off the coast of the Carolinas and Georgia. It started way back in the day when I first read Pat Conroy’s “The Prince of Tides” and has continued ever since. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to see them before global climate change and several other factors destroy them (I’m a born and bred California girl who’s only been next to the Atlantic Ocean when she was in New York City I have a confession to make: I have a huge reservoir of affection for books involving the low country and barrier islands off the coast of the Carolinas and Georgia. It started way back in the day when I first read Pat Conroy’s “The Prince of Tides” and has continued ever since. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to see them before global climate change and several other factors destroy them (I’m a born and bred California girl who’s only been next to the Atlantic Ocean when she was in New York City one time, so I think that hardly counts), but it’s been on my bucket list for as long as Greece has (which would be high school). So one of the main reasons I wanted to read this book was the setting: location location location! The second reason was the same reason I’ve chosen to read a lot of the books I’ve picked to read in the last 9-plus months: memory. I’ve said before in a few reviews that books involving issues surrounding memory or sleep intrigue and interest me because I’ve had chronic insomnia for years now and my memory is very compromised by both my panic disorder and temporal lobe epilepsy. It doesn’t help that both lack of sleep and stress and/or overwhelming anxiety both aggravate the epilepsy and cause more memory loss issues. With every week that slips by, the memory loss gets worse, it seems, and I’m not even 45 yet. “Carolina Moonset” explores both. It’s a wonderful suspense mystery and family drama that may be set in the present but reaches far into the past to find most of its answers. The stunning and yet always ineffable salt marshes, lagoons, and tides of the barrier islands and their tricky dichotomy of working class stilt houses and plantation mansions provides a perfect backdrop for a tricky tale of whodunit, all while Joey (our main character) tries to keep the police from putting his father (who has a rare and lethal form of dementia) in jail for the murder by solving the case with the help of the adult daughter of the couple who live next door to his parents. I’m usually so let down by suspense mysteries these days. Either the pacing isn’t right, or I guess the turn(s) early on in the book, or the book is too long, or there are too many characters.. I could keep going. That wasn’t the case here: this book was kind-of the Goldilocks of suspense mysteries in so many ways. Great pacing, I was surprised more than once by clever (but not pretentious or outrageous) misdirects, a great length, a surprisingly perfect number of characters, and a diverse cast. The book also has a big heart with a great but gentle sense of humor. You can’t help but fall in love with both Joey and his father. Unlike “The Prince of Tides”, it’s one of the best and least toxic father-son relationships I’ve ever read in a book. It was truly touching. My sole complaint is that there were a few obvious points where the main character should’ve known better or had shown more logic before and then all of sudden lacked that same level of logic. It was annoying enough for me to get frustrated, but not annoying enough to stop reading. I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s a fan of southern mysteries and who loves positive family dynamics. It’s a great read. Thanks to NetGalley, Macmillan-Tor/Forge, and Forge Books for early access to this title in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Harmony Kent

    Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge Books for this Advanced Review Copy. A moving and engrossing read. I haven't read this author before, but after seeing positive reviews around the blogosphere, I requested a review copy via NetGalley, and was thrilled to have the chance to read and review Carolina Moonset, which did not disappoint. "When I saw my first palm tree, I almost died of disappointment." ... this opening line had me hooked. I loved the set-up and wanted to know more. The writer t Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge Books for this Advanced Review Copy. A moving and engrossing read. I haven't read this author before, but after seeing positive reviews around the blogosphere, I requested a review copy via NetGalley, and was thrilled to have the chance to read and review Carolina Moonset, which did not disappoint. "When I saw my first palm tree, I almost died of disappointment." ... this opening line had me hooked. I loved the set-up and wanted to know more. The writer takes the reader immediately into a journey of reminiscence, love, loss, and letting go. I fell in love with the characters, who all felt visceral and real, and I connected with the predicament deeply. I love a good mystery, especially one that happened decades ago and needs to be resolved in the here and now, as well as an in-the-present crisis to go along with it. This book certainly delivers that. Joey's dad has Lewy Body Demtentia, which leaves him with zero short-term recall and no idea what happened even a few seconds prior. He lives in the past, which he recalls vividly. Added to that, he also begins to hallucinate and hold conversations with people who are not there. When a prominent local businessman is shot dead, and the murder weapon is linked to Joey's dad, things get a whole lot more serious. I loved the style of writing, the characterisation, world building, and humour that runs throughout the narrative. Here are some lines I loved ... "I took a deep breath and inhaled forty years of pleasant memories from this place I loved." And ... "Running a company and parenting two teenagers was easier than parenting my parents." And ... "When it comes to matchmaking, my wife treats this town like one of her quilts. No tolerance for loose threads dangling all alone." The plot, pacing, and writing were excellently done, and I enjoyed this read immensely. The ending was well-rounded and satisfying. I shall be reading more of Matt Goldman for sure. Carolina Moonset gets a resounding five stars from me. *** NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me. 5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended. 4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book. 3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it. 2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines. 1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Julie Failla Earhart

    Divorced dad, Joey Green, returns home to the small town of Beaufort, South Carolina, to help his mother look after his father for a while. Marshall Green is suffering from Lewy Body dementia*. His short-term memory has almost disappeared, but his long-term memory is strong. Marshall is not violent, except when it comes to the Hammond family. He has unexpected outbursts when the name is mentioned. Marshall has some old unresolved issues that come out when he talks with his old friend, Trip Patte Divorced dad, Joey Green, returns home to the small town of Beaufort, South Carolina, to help his mother look after his father for a while. Marshall Green is suffering from Lewy Body dementia*. His short-term memory has almost disappeared, but his long-term memory is strong. Marshall is not violent, except when it comes to the Hammond family. He has unexpected outbursts when the name is mentioned. Marshall has some old unresolved issues that come out when he talks with his old friend, Trip Patterson, who died decades ago, who appears in a hallucination. As Marshall’s long-term memories rise, so does the memory of his first love, Delphi, who was murdered because back then, in South Carolina, mixed-race couples were not tolerated. But even those memories are not exactly correct as readers discover. There is another murder and a probable murder after Delphi’s that sets the town on edge. In current time, Roy’s brother is murdered, down the street from the Green home. At first, the police are interested in Marshall as he cannot account for his whereabouts that evening. Joey, interested in clearing his father, wants to learn what happened to Trip, Delphi and Roy. At the same time, Joey’s mother, Carol, and the next-door neighbors are trying to set Joey up with their also-divorced daughter, Leela. Sparks flair, Joey and Leela turn investigators together. This book got off to a slow start for me, but I am glad I hung in there. It turned out to be a true page-turner. Once the new murder happens, the plotline sets off on a can't-put-down thrill ride full of secrets, scandals, lies, memories, romance and racism. “Carolina Moonset” received 4 stars in Julie’s world. *Lewy Body Dementia is “a progressive dementia that results from protein deposits in nerve cells of brain. It affects movement, thinking skills, mood, memory, and behavior” with frequent bouts of hallucinations.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mae Clair

    Thank you to Net Galley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing an ARC. From the title, to the book cover, to the blurb, I couldn’t wait to disappear into the pages of this novel. I was so engrossed, I read 68% in one sitting, then finished it the next day, frustrated sleep had intervened. Joey Green visits his parents in the small South Carolina town where his father grew up, focused on spending time with his dad, Marshall, a beloved local physician who is sinking into dementia. When Marshall star Thank you to Net Galley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing an ARC. From the title, to the book cover, to the blurb, I couldn’t wait to disappear into the pages of this novel. I was so engrossed, I read 68% in one sitting, then finished it the next day, frustrated sleep had intervened. Joey Green visits his parents in the small South Carolina town where his father grew up, focused on spending time with his dad, Marshall, a beloved local physician who is sinking into dementia. When Marshall starts talking about the past, holding conversations with people who aren’t there, Joey and his mother chalk his behavior up to a deteriorating mind. But it soon becomes apparent there are secrets hidden in his reminiscing, puzzle pieces that bind the past to the present. When one of the town’s most influential citizens is murdered, suspicions fall on Marshall, but Joey knows his father is innocent. Finding out who is responsible opens a door on an old tragedy and unresolved circumstances. While I found the mystery from the past to be the more intriguing of the two, I was completely surprised by the identity of the killer in the present. Although this is more of a quiet story, it moves at a pace that makes it impossible to set the book down. The descriptions are phenomenal, the richly detailed setting easily transporting the reader to a place of salt marshes, shrimp boats, and antebellum homes. Main and secondary characters are equally well-developed, and no one gets short shrift (I developed such a soft spot for Bubba). There is a subplot with a low-key romance, but it enhances rather than detracts from the overall tale. Beautifully written, this is a story that touches on relationships, sacrifice, heartache, and love. I thought the ending was perfect, and would recommend this to anyone who likes an intelligent and compelling mystery with memorable characters.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tessa Talks Books

    What's it about (in a nutshell): Carolina Moonset by Matt Goldman is a rich and complex mystery that spans decades in a small southern coastal community. Initial Expectations (before beginning the book): I love the cover. It feels like southern coastal South Carolina with the waterways obscured by tall grasses and the large old home in the midst of it all. The light on in the upstairs window intrigues me. The blurb also intrigues me with talk of old family secrets. By chance, I am reading this book What's it about (in a nutshell): Carolina Moonset by Matt Goldman is a rich and complex mystery that spans decades in a small southern coastal community. Initial Expectations (before beginning the book): I love the cover. It feels like southern coastal South Carolina with the waterways obscured by tall grasses and the large old home in the midst of it all. The light on in the upstairs window intrigues me. The blurb also intrigues me with talk of old family secrets. By chance, I am reading this book while I'm in the area it is set in, and I imagine that will even add to the story in unexpected ways. Actual Reading Experience: Carolina Moonset was everything I expected, told so beautifully and so atmospherically that I felt like I was there sitting in the Green's kitchen. The mystery is complex and encompasses so many layers of hate, racism, and wrongdoings that it fits the setting historically and socially to perfection. I could see lots of it coming, but I didn't care that I wouldn't be shocked or surprised. I was happy to be immersed in the tale of all that had transpired so many decades ago. And I felt utterly rewarded for my mindset. The setting and how the author immerses you in that setting were sublime. I happened to be in the area when I read the book and can attest to the authenticity of the descriptions. I think the location lends itself to sitting for a spell and listening to family stories until late into the night. Or at least that's the effect on me, and I have heard many family stories, especially my own. The family themes and portrayal of dementia are heartwarming, heartbreaking, relatable, and authentic. I loved the way neighbors pulled together to lend a hand and how everyone treated Marshall Green (the main character's father) with the utmost respect. There was so much love and care in that community, and it came through the page unmistakably. Characters: The characters are so well-developed that I knew them like I knew my own family and neighbors. Joey Green is the main character and narrator. He tells the story in first-person narration giving the story that personal perspective that rings genuine. Joey is likable and upstanding, as is the rest of his family. I loved the romance that blooms between him and his parent's neighbor's daughter, who is of a similar age and also divorced To Read or Not to Read: Suppose you love family history, a large dose of southern ambiance, and a compelling mystery that spans generations. In that case, Carolina Moonset is just the cup of sweet tea you've been waiting for.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    4.5 stars. Carolina Moonset by Matt Goldman is an atmospheric mystery that tugs on the heartstrings. Joey Green is in Beaufort, SC to help take care of his father, Marshall, whose short-term memory loss leads to a heart wrenching diagnosis. After realizing how exhausted his mom is, he convinces her to take a short vacation with a friend in FL. Joey is distressed by the changes in his father but he remains patient and tries to enjoy this time with his dad. When a murder occurs close to their house 4.5 stars. Carolina Moonset by Matt Goldman is an atmospheric mystery that tugs on the heartstrings. Joey Green is in Beaufort, SC to help take care of his father, Marshall, whose short-term memory loss leads to a heart wrenching diagnosis. After realizing how exhausted his mom is, he convinces her to take a short vacation with a friend in FL. Joey is distressed by the changes in his father but he remains patient and tries to enjoy this time with his dad. When a murder occurs close to their house and the police attention turns to Marshall, Joey and his neighbor’s daughter, Leela Bellerose, work together to solve the case. Does the key to finding the killer have any relation to events that occurred in his father’s past? Despite the shock over his father’s illness, Joey and Marshall spend time fishing with his dad’s long-time fishing guide, Bubba. After the murder, he tries to protect his dad from the police as they immediately treat him as a suspect. Marshall’s agitated ramblings provide Joey with important information but can he convince his father to tell him what has him so upset? At the same time, Joey and Leela grow closer, but a future together seems impossible. Carolina Moonset is an intriguing mystery with plenty of personal moments. The characters are vibrantly drawn and appealing. Marshall’s family and friends’ reaction to his dementia will resonate with readers who have also dealt with this crushing blow. The secrets Joey unearths are true to place and time period. Despite a few missteps from good intentions, the murder investigation is interesting (albeit frustrating at times). Matt Goldman brings this clever mystery to poignant conclusion.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Piper

    This book is one of those that cannot be defined by one genre. I never thought this would've been as heartfelt or have such a well-developed romance, but it did. Add in a great suspense and whodunit storyline, and this book is exactly what I needed to get out of my reading slump. I also enjoyed how real this novel felt. This was also one of the most diverse cast of characters I've read, and they aren't stereotyped. The father's disease(s) made my heartache with Goldman's well-done portrayal. Joe This book is one of those that cannot be defined by one genre. I never thought this would've been as heartfelt or have such a well-developed romance, but it did. Add in a great suspense and whodunit storyline, and this book is exactly what I needed to get out of my reading slump. I also enjoyed how real this novel felt. This was also one of the most diverse cast of characters I've read, and they aren't stereotyped. The father's disease(s) made my heartache with Goldman's well-done portrayal. Joey Green, our narrator, also is one of the few male characters that I respect. I always find men's POV to be quite degrading to women. They often focus on the woman's form when they describe them. Joey doesn't. He describes their eyes, their hair, their clothing, their personalities. I mean, the first thing he thinks about Leela is that she has "intelligent eyes". I swooned. Onto the meat of the story, Joey's father and his faltering memory. I loved how we see right off the bat just how far-gone Joey's father is. This is not a gradual story; his father is already well into the illness and getting worse. We don't see him at his normal, but from the stories he tells and Joey's own recalling, we know and feel what the family was losing/had lost. I think the old and new murders are such a great device to show the past and present colliding just as Joey's father's past mind was with the present. I will say the culprits (or most of them) were predictable, but it didn't deter or slow me down at all. The story is more than just the mystery. Although Joey's hunt for uncovering the truth was interesting to read. It reminded me of the show Cold Case a bit. You get immersed in the past when each witness retells what happened, or their side of what happened. I received a free copy of this book via Macmillan Publishing Group and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    First, thank you to NetGalley and publisher Forge Books for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. I can honestly say that it was fantastic. The book starts with character Joey Green returning home for a visit to see his parents. Joey’s father, Marshall, has advanced Lewy Body Syndrome – a form of dementia that not only has obliterated his short term memory; but it causes him to hallucinate – and see people that aren’t there. He has full on conversations with these pe First, thank you to NetGalley and publisher Forge Books for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. I can honestly say that it was fantastic. The book starts with character Joey Green returning home for a visit to see his parents. Joey’s father, Marshall, has advanced Lewy Body Syndrome – a form of dementia that not only has obliterated his short term memory; but it causes him to hallucinate – and see people that aren’t there. He has full on conversations with these people who are invisible to all others. Joey’s mother needs a break and while he visits, his mother takes a long needed trip to Florida with a best friend to compete in a pickle ball tournament. Joey is left in charge of taking care of dad. Returning to life in the small town of Beaufort, South Carolina, Joey experiences the emotional impact of seeing his father’s deterioration, as well as trying to understand the memories Marshall has from long ago that surface and are disturbing to Marshall and to perplexing to Joey as the past becomes his father’s present. Author Matt Goldman’s story depicts the heartbreak of the present with his father’s deterioration; combined with old mysteries and missing people that surface in concert with a present day murder of a prominent local citizen, Thomas Hammond. A family of local prominence is in the middle of the events; as well as Marshall Green, who despised the two brothers from that family due to their behavior from long ago. As the events unfold, and the police are at the door suspecting Marshall Green in the murder. Aside from the fact that Marshall seems incapable of such a crime, there is compelling evidence for them to question him. When he and Joey talk, his father tells him stories of long ago and the relationships he had with the Hammonds, and Mixed in with the family dynamics, the murder and the author chose to weave in a heartfelt romance between Joey Green and the daughter of his parent’s next door neighbors, Leela. Their chemistry is strong and they become close quickly and bond over Joey’s efforts to help his father and mother. It's a compelling book that I really enjoyed. An excellent read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Heather L

    This was a very good book with a focus mainly on family with some historical suspense, that morphs into current day suspense thrown in. Joey is visiting his father in South Carolina, his father has Lewy body dementia, a slow moving disease that will eventually kill him, but for now he can remember details from years ago, but can't remember something that happened minutes ago. His parents set Joey up with the daughter of the next door neighbors who happens to be his age and is also divorced and t This was a very good book with a focus mainly on family with some historical suspense, that morphs into current day suspense thrown in. Joey is visiting his father in South Carolina, his father has Lewy body dementia, a slow moving disease that will eventually kill him, but for now he can remember details from years ago, but can't remember something that happened minutes ago. His parents set Joey up with the daughter of the next door neighbors who happens to be his age and is also divorced and they hit it off. One night while with the daughter, Joey had left his father home alone, locked in the house, when he returns he finds his father eating a freshly picked orange, presumably from the tree in the back yard. Joey also finds out there has been a well known citizen murdered, Tom Hammond, who has featured heavily in his father's long term memory recollections. Soon the police are interviewing all the people and focus on his father, who has a gun that has gone missing and appears to have been outside at the time of the murder. Joey is a devoted son and will do anything he can to prevent his father from being charged with the murder. This book was well written and nicely paced, I was engaged fully in the story. I would recommend. Thank you to #Netgalley and #Forge Books for the ARC.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Holloway Jones

    This is the very first book I have read from this author and was really intrigued by the character development and the unique blend of genres. I loved the choice of setting and the vivid descriptions of the land and the beauty of the area. I liked the specificity of events in the book and how atmosphere really added depth to scenes and also tied into the emotions of the characters. I really liked the main character and I really felt for what he was going through with his dad's illness. I liked t This is the very first book I have read from this author and was really intrigued by the character development and the unique blend of genres. I loved the choice of setting and the vivid descriptions of the land and the beauty of the area. I liked the specificity of events in the book and how atmosphere really added depth to scenes and also tied into the emotions of the characters. I really liked the main character and I really felt for what he was going through with his dad's illness. I liked that the back story was slowly eased into the book, however in a way that made perfect use of the natural pacing and did not slow the book down and stop the plot. This indicates a real finesse for the written word. I liked the role of the painting and historical artifacts that added authenticity to the story and created something unique just to this story. I want to read more from this author and will definitely recommend this book to others. Thanks for the ARC, BookishFirst.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Namita

    This book was phenomenal!! Extremely well articulated and engaging!! It put me through the emotional ringer. The suspense is so good. It’s a story of family and secrets. Let me tell you, those secrets were heartbreaking. Joey Green is visiting his parents so his Mom could get a break from watching his father who’s sick. What a loving family the Green’s were!! A prominent man in the community is murdered. The police suspect and hound Marshal Green, Joey’s 75 year old, sick Dad!! How could it be t This book was phenomenal!! Extremely well articulated and engaging!! It put me through the emotional ringer. The suspense is so good. It’s a story of family and secrets. Let me tell you, those secrets were heartbreaking. Joey Green is visiting his parents so his Mom could get a break from watching his father who’s sick. What a loving family the Green’s were!! A prominent man in the community is murdered. The police suspect and hound Marshal Green, Joey’s 75 year old, sick Dad!! How could it be that and aging, suffering from Lewy Body Dementia be a suspect?!! To know the answer you gotta read this fantastic book!! My first book by Matt Goldman and he’s got a fan in me!! Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge books for e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    As someone who lost both my mother and mother-in-law to Alzheimer's, I could relate to the Green family's suffering in this novel when their patriarch, Marshall Green, is stricken with Lewy body dementia. Marshall has been a pillar of the community and a dedicated provider for his family; fate has dealt him a cruel blow. Goldman's portrayal of Marshall is spot-on, and his descriptions of the Beaufort, South Carolina, setting are beautifully written. Although Marshall can no longer remember whether As someone who lost both my mother and mother-in-law to Alzheimer's, I could relate to the Green family's suffering in this novel when their patriarch, Marshall Green, is stricken with Lewy body dementia. Marshall has been a pillar of the community and a dedicated provider for his family; fate has dealt him a cruel blow. Goldman's portrayal of Marshall is spot-on, and his descriptions of the Beaufort, South Carolina, setting are beautifully written. Although Marshall can no longer remember whether he ate lunch, he can recall in vivid detail events that took place over fifty years earlier. He begins talking to people long dead, and recounting stories his family has never heard before--some of which involve unsolved murders. The protagonist, Joey Green, persuades his mother to take a break from her caregiving role to play in a pickleball tournament in Florida with her girlfriends. Joey promises to watch his father while she's away. But he accidentally leaves Marshall unattended for a few hours the night a prominent businessman is shot to death. Marshall has long held a grudge against the man's family, and he keeps an ancient gun in his toolbox of the same caliber as the one used to commit the murder. Evidence points to Marshall, who can't even remember the man was killed, much less whether he pulled the trigger. To convince the police of his father's innocence, Joey must do some sleuthing and set a trap for the real killer. There is also a bit of sweet romance woven in. Joey's parents conspire with their neighbors to set him up with the girl next door, and sparks fly. Despite the fact that they both have careers, children, and exes in different cities, they fall harder for each other than expected. The pacing in this story was just right, and the characters engaging. Highly recommended!

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