Murderland Reviews


“Location, location, location—we got us some in our altered state of Florida. ‘Murderland’ is more fun than a three day, three park pass for Fantasyworld. A straight-up romp. A go-down show-down in the shadow of the rat. We haven’t heard the last of Tom Cavanagh.”

 — Bob Truluck, Shamus award winning author of Street Level and Saw Red

“What I like about this author is his smooth talent in crafting an engaging story with well-defined characters … He tenderly develops the love affair between Kevin and Sheila instead of the wham-bam rhythm in which other murder mystery writers prefer to wallow. And Cavanagh describes a roller coaster ride so well that you might feel queasy while reading it. He is able to get inside the skin of a recovering alcoholic and he writes about the ‘jones’ feeling of a crackhead trying to say no to his next fix … His style … is sensitive and composed. Perhaps he might be convinced to forgo the mystery genre and become the next Florida author to pen a serious literary novel. Can you say Pulitzer?

 — Cathy Mathias, Florida Today, 9/18/05

“Set in Florida, a state known for its beaches, it’s fitting that Murderland makes for good beach reading … I could see the action as clearly as if I was in a movie theatre and the characters were detailed and believable. Armchair Interviews says: If you want to enjoy your next visit to a theme park, don’t read this book until after you get back home.”

 — Armchair Interviews: Great Reviews, Sept. 2005

“Cavanagh’s character development is proficient and detailed, a reflection of his years writing material for children’s television. All of his characters are well thought out and, despite being his first novel, his handling of their emotional journeys is excellent…The plot is well-executed … a good solid read … a great book to peruse by the pool – but you might not ever look at Disney World or Universal quite the same way again.”

  — East Orlando Sun, 8/31/05

“The characters are solid, the plot believable, and the mix of drama and humor is right on the mark. Thomas B. Cavanagh has set an exciting stage, providing the reader with a behind the scenes look at a theme park, populated by colorful characters, to include Mavis DuBois, (a cross between Mae West and Gunsmoke’s Miss Kitty), a giant chipmunk who likes to flip-off tourists, and Wilberforce the Wilber horse. Murderland is also home to the dreaded “Code V.” No spoilers here, to find out what “Code V” is and who the killer is treat yourself to Thomas B. Cavanagh’s, MURDERLAND.”

 — Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, Oct/Nov 2005

“…roller coaster ride of a thriller … A crisp writer … Murderland is a perfect fun read for a lazy afternoon at the beach or a rainy day.”

 –Executive Living: Central Florida’s Lifestyle Magazine, Dec 2005/Jan 2006

“After finishing Head Games, I asked the library to get me Thomas Cavanagh’s first novel, Murderland…Another excellent novel from Cavanagh. You will get a very good idea about the inner workings of a major theme park, especially what it may be like to work a ride (Kevin’s job is to unload people from a themed roller coaster). And I really enjoy that the hero isn’t perfect. Far from it. There come some points in the novel where Kevin has some major choices to make, and you can feel the emotions in his conflicted soul. As you can tell, I was taken by the writing. It looks like Cavanagh did his research, with the theme parks and addictions. And it pays off. If you are looking for a novel centering around a serial killer in a major Orlando theme park, this is the one. Excellent book.”

 –Gregg Eldred, Blog Review

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