A Killer in the Family by Gytha Lodge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A Killer in the Family is the 5th-book in the DCI Jonah Sheens series. This is a top-tier Police Procedural Mystery series for me and I have anxiously awaited each new release.
As with many Adult Mystery series, these books don’t necessarily need to be read in order. Personally though, I would recommend it, mainly due to the interesting character development involving the group of detectives.
With this being said, any of the books in this series would also make great standalone novels. However, I feel like once you read one, you’ll want to read them all!
In this installment, DCI Jonah Sheens and his team are trying to track down a serial killer. Dubbed the ‘bonfire killer’ because of the circumstances in which the victims are found, the killer shows no signs of slowing down.
The area of Southampton is on edge. It’s recommended women not walk alone after dark. Extra precautions should be taken, but not everyone is listening.
Thanks to a DNA registry compiled via a UK-based ancestry website, the investigators have a strong lead. It takes them to the doorstep of single-mom, Aisling Cooley.
The events that happen next will leave both the investigators and Ms. Cooley scratching their heads. For Aisling, it’s a puzzle almost too devastating to want to figure out.
Could there be a killer in the family?
Y’all, this book doesn’t release until August, but I couldn’t resist picking it up. I normally never, ever, ever pick up ARCs months before their actual release, but for this one, I was willing to break my own rules.
Right out the gate, Lodge shocked me with an epic Prologue. Like, that’s how you start a story. Jaw on the floor, yikes, what am I getting into?!
I got super invested in this mystery. I had so many different theories, but I actually hoped I wasn’t correct, as I really liked all the characters involved.
In addition to this new case, I enjoying reading the continuing storylines involving our main group of recurring characters, DCI Jonah Sheens and his team. Particularly Juliette and Ben, I love them and their friendship so much.
One of the things I love most about this team is how well they work together. I feel like in a lot of stories involving people that work together, there’s always some sort of drama or contempt amongst the characters.
That doesn’t happen in these books. They support one another, they treat each other with respect and the camaraderie is frankly, workplace goals. Each one of them has their strengths and Sheens recognizes that and assigns them tasks accordingly.
I love a happy, supportive, cohesive team, working on one myself IRL, so appreciate that representation here.
I also really enjoyed the concept of using consumer DNA services to track a killer. I just read a fantastic nonfiction book, The Forever Witness: How Genetic Genealogy Solved a Cold Case Double Murder, about that very topic, so it was fun to see its fictional use here.
This investigation was perfectly paced and the plot was structured so well. Lodge kept me guessing, and second-guessing myself, at the edge of my seat, until the exciting final scenes.
Overall, A Killer in the Family is a sensational addition to the Jonah Sheens series. I absolutely loved this one. Lodge has successfully created another enticing page-turner.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Random House, for providing me with a copy to read and review.
This is one of my favorite series and I hope it continues for a long time to come!!