top of page

The Ryan DeMarco Mystery Series 



 Sourcebooks Landmark 

Finalist for the Hammett Prize for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing

Indie Next Pick by the American Booksellers Association

A BookPage Top Pick in Mystery and Top 10 Notable Book

#2 on the Strand Magazine Top 12 Mystery Novels of 2017

A Best Book of 2017: JDC Must Read Books

Now in its 10th Edition

“A gripping new literary thriller… The fact that this book will be marketed as genre fiction is misleading; it’s more than that. It’s literature posing as a mystery…one of the best reading investments you will make this year.” ~ BookPage


“…a suspenseful, literary thriller that will resonate with readers long after the book is finished. A terrific choice for Dennis Lehane fans.” ~ Library Journal starred review


“(In this) chilly suspense novel…Silvis tells his parallel stories…with finely tuned sensitivity.” ~ New York Times Book Review


“An absolute gem of literary suspense, pitting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and told in a smooth, assured, and often haunting voice…a terrific read.” ~ Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead


“Randall raises the bar so high that after him it’s difficult to read anything else. Days, and maybe weeks, pass before the feeling begins to fade slightly, but his characters never leave you. They remain alive in the conscious mind, as if they belong to real people whom destiny has brought into your path.” ~ Valentina Miziiska, for BG Storyteller

The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone now.

What could cause a man, when all the stars of fortune are shining upon him, to suddenly snap and destroy everything he has built? This is the question that haunts Sergeant Ryan DeMarco after the wife and children of beloved college professor and bestselling author Thomas Huston are found slaughtered in their home. Huston himself has disappeared and so is immediately cast as the prime suspect.

DeMarco knows—or thinks he knows—that Huston couldn't have been capable of murdering his family. But if Huston is innocent, why is he on the run? And does the half-finished manuscript he left behind contain clues to the mystery of his family's killer?



Sourcebooks Landmark

A Best Book of 2018: JDC Must Read Books

“Silvis’s deeply satisfying sequel to (is) filled with the psychological language of memory and dreams (and) heart-pounding moments of suspense…. Silvis smoothly blends moments of exquisite beauty into a sea of darker emotion to create a moving story heavy with the theme of the ‘past is never past.’” ~ Publisher’s Weekly starred review


“This is a stellar work…The author’s insightful portrayal of small town secrets and loyalties plunges readers deep into a Southern mystery that will keep them wondering right up to the end.”


“ is a tour de force. I read this novel in one long, breathless gasp. Outstanding!” ~ Karen Dionne, international bestselling author of

The Marsh King's Daughter

When long-buried secrets come back to the surface...

The bones of seven young girls, picked clean and carefully preserved, discovered years ago... that's all Sergeant Ryan DeMarco knows about the unsolved crime he has unwittingly been roped into investigating during what is supposed to be a healing road trip with his new love, Jayme.

DeMarco is still reeling from the case that led to death of his best friend months ago and wants nothing more than to lay low. Unfortunately, the small southern town of Jayme's idyllic youth is not exactly a place that lets strangers go unnoticed—especially strangers who have a history of solving violent crimes. And if there's anything DeMarco knows, it's that a killer always leaves clues behind, just waiting for the right person to come along and put all the pieces together...

Walking the Bones is a story about things buried—memories, regrets, secrets, and bodies. Acclaimed author Randall Silvis delivers another heart-stopping investigation as DeMarco finds himself once again drawn into a case that will demand more of himself than he may be willing to give.



Sourcebooks/Poisoned Pen

“Silvis is at it again, striving for a blend of crime story and literature, mutilated bodies and lapidary prose.” Booklist


“Words cannot adequately describe this novel and Silvis’s beautiful writing. He infuses lush, poetic, and evocative descriptions (with) plenty of action and suspense to drive this thriller; however, Silvis has a unique way of reaching down into the soul of his haunted characters… There is darkness, suspense, action, misery, death, violence. Despair and sorrow. But there is also good, beauty, joy, hope, compassion, and light. A series not to be missed!”  JDC MustReadBooks, a Top Book of 2019


Just when you think you've reached the bottom...

Ryan DeMarco would rather not go home. Not now, maybe not ever. But when his estranged wife attempts suicide, he has no choice but to return to western Pennsylvania, and all the memories that wait for him there. Unfortunately, it's not only ghosts from the past waiting to greet DeMarco upon his return. An old high school classmate has risen through the ranks to become a county sheriff, and he is desperate for help investigating a series of murders that might tie into a cold case from his and DeMarco's school days.

DeMarco and his new love, Jayme, agree to join the team working on the case. But it's not easy for DeMarco to be walking the streets of his troubled past, and the deeper he and Jayme dig into the disturbing murders the less likely it is that either one of them will escape the devastation.​




Sourcebooks/Poisoned Pen


"A poignant and gritty thriller that reveals humanity's best and worst."

~ Kate Kassler, bestselling author

"The rare crime novel infused with both darkness and light. The characters are so real I expected to meet them for drinks at the end of the day." ~ Kelly Simmons, international selling author of Where She Went and One More Day

"Well-crafted prose, smart dialogue, and complex characters create a chilling thriller."  Mary Burton, New York Times and USA Today best selling author 


There are good reasons to fear the dark...


Former Sergeant Ryan DeMarco's life has been spent in defiance―he's defied death, loneliness, and betrayal all while fighting the worst parts of humanity. He's earned a break, and following the devastation of their last case, DeMarco and his girlfriend Jayme want nothing more than to live quietly in each other's company. To forget the horrors they've experienced and work on making each other whole again.


But dreams of a peaceful life together are shattered when two bodies are discovered in a smoldering car in the woods, and another is found brutally mutilated nearby. Much as he'd like to leave the case to his former colleagues, dark forces are at play and DeMarco cannot escape the vortex of lies, betrayal, and desperation. He and Jayme are dragged back into the fray, where they must confront the shady dealings of a close-knit rural community.


In the highly-anticipated fourth installment in his critically-acclaimed series, Randall Silvis returns with a case that might break Ryan DeMarco for good.

IMG_8598 (1).JPG




Sourcebooks/Poisoned Pen

“Elegiac…. Silvis delivers crisp action sequences, but most memorable are DeMarco’s long, ruminative digressions that sum up the career of a complicated, honorable man. Readers will be sorry to see the last of him.” ~ Publishers Weekly


“A soulful, deeply felt story.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“DeMarco is an interesting character: not just your typical ex-cop-with-a-past, but rather a vividly realized, robust, and abundantly human character….a hard-edged, smartly plotted novel.”  ~ Booklist

"WHEN ALL LIGHT FAILS is a literary work of art! Literary suspense fiction at its finest. What an epic way to end the spectacular Ryan DeMarco series. I LOVED THIS BOOK! My jaw dropped numerous times…full of suspense and twists. Your heart will break at the tragedy, but I loved the way it ended and found myself not wanting it to end. 5-stars +++ and one of the Top Books of 2021. Luminous and beautifully written. Utterly unputdownable!"

~ Judith D. Collins
“Seriously great writing and highly emotional reading. I couldn’t put the book down. Highly, highly recommended. Silvis is top notch and at the top of his game.”  
~ Starred review, My Point Reviews
“So, so beautifully written. Makes you question your beliefs on life and death. It’s so rich in emotion and complex in thought. I cannot put into words how much I love this book. The writing was so deep and hopeful but so real and hurting. The characters came alive in the pages. Every chapter was a masterpiece on its own. I will cherish every word.”

~ Goodreads

When powerful men pull strings to get what they want... someone almost always ends up dead.

There's not much that would convince retired police sergeant Ryan DeMarco to take on another private investigation case, but he can't refuse a nine-year-old Michigan girl begging for help finding her biological father. The road trip to the Upper Peninsula promises DeMarco and his partner, Jayme, a chance to heal from their last case, which ended in a traumatic brush with death for DeMarco. But things aren't as they first appear in the woods of Michigan, and the seemingly simple paternity investigation soon morphs into something deadly.

The deeper DeMarco, Jayme, and the rest of their team dig, the more ugly truths they reveal, all while doing their best to keep one member of their team, from falling prey to her own kind of darkness. This investigation just might be the most emotionally troubling one DeMarco and Jayme have yet encountered, for there are plenty of people who will do whatever it takes to shut them down before the truth comes to light.



A Ryan DeMarco Mystery Series prequel novella - And other stories 

Riverdale Avenue Books

These six short stories and the title novella—a Ryan DeMarco series prequel—brilliantly showcase the author’s compelling storytelling coupled with the deep characterization and exquisite prose for which he is known. Murderers, grifters, and other unsavory characters people these stories, but so too do those struggling to make the world a kinder and less dangerous place.

bottom of page