IDYLL FEARS by Stephanie Gayle

The second in a series, IDYLL FEARS follows detective Thomas Lynch as he struggles to find a missing 6-year-old lost in a blizzard. The case shines a spotlight on the small town of Idyll, CT — and Lynch, the town’s recently out Chief of Police. Fans of crime mystery and police procedurals won’t want to miss this compelling series!


It’s two weeks before Christmas 1997, and Chief Thomas Lynch faces a crisis when Cody Forrand, a six-year-old with a life-threatening medical condition, goes missing during a blizzard. The confusing case shines a national spotlight on the small, sleepy town of Idyll, Connecticut, where small-time crime is already on the rise and the police seem to be making mistakes left and right. Further complicating matters, Lynch, still new to town, finds himself the target of prank calls and hate speech that he worries is the work of a colleague, someone struggling to accept working with a gay chief of police.

With time ticking away, Lynch is beginning to doubt whether he’ll be able to bring Cody home safely . . . and whether Idyll could ever really be home.


“If you haven’t discovered Stephanie Gayle yet, welcome to the show. Idyll Fears is a gripping read, a ticking-clock thriller populated with nuanced characters and anchored in convincing police work. Thomas Lynch is one of my new favorite leads—smart, spiky, and struggling to make his own place in a town that needs him, but may not deserve him. I can’t wait to visit Idyll again.” —Glen Erik Hamilton, Anthony Award–winning author of Past Crimes

“Smart, spare, and insightful, this compelling procedural has it all: a uniquely endearing main character, realistic dialogue, a surprising and twisty story, and, above all, the talented and stylish storytelling of a confident and sure-handed new voice in crime fiction. Could not put it down!” —Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning author

“Guaranteed to send a shiver down your spine. Lynch is a compelling, deeply human character—at once prickly, damaged, and heroic—and Gayle’s evocative prose breathes life into every twisty, thrilling page.” —Chris Holm, Anthony Award–winning author of The Killing Kind

“Stephanie Gayle proves that she’s in it for the long haul. Thomas Lynch is a fine, nuanced character—a police chief readers can believe in and root for. The tale is riveting, right up there with the best police procedurals. I highly recommend it!” —Terry Shames, award-winning author of the Samuel Craddock mysteries



Stephanie Gayle is the author of Idyll Threats, the first Thomas Lynch Novel, and My Summer of Southern Discomfort, which was chosen as one of Redbook‘s Top Ten Summer Reads and was a Book Sense monthly pick. Gayle has also published stories and narrative nonfiction pieces, including two Pushcart Prize nominees.