Culligan’s Way is a gripping thriller by a Pawleys Island author, Marvin Levine, and one I found difficult to put down once I’d started it.
The book takes place on Pawleys Island where the wayward son, Tim Culligan, returns home after ten years of living in New York City. He returns finding that nothing much has changed in those years and wonders how long this visit will actually last. Returning to the father who shunned him, a loving but bipolar mother, two sisters – one hot-tempered and one an addict, and a very violent and abusive brother.
The reader is taken on a fast-paced journey that sets the stage for a brutal killing that occurs on the Culligan properties just days after Tim’s return. I raced through this book, loving each and every character and chapter, my heart in my throat as the murderer is eventually revealed through a rare twist of fate.
As a mother, my heart ached for Ruth, the mentally ill matriarch determined to protect her son, Tim, at whatever cost. As a sister, I understood Sally’s attempt to make things right. Tim’s father, Judge Rudy Culligan, my not-so-favorite character, truly did love his wife even though she gave him several reasons not to forgive her. The characters were all very believable and fascinating, however, my amateur detective skills did reveal the killer to me before I reached the end of the book. But, I did enjoy how the writer revealed the character’s guilt.
Overall, it is a great story and a fun read especially with all the nuances of Pawleys Island that stood out to this local. A great beach read this summer or anytime if you love true mystery thrillers.