Review: The Girls on Floor 13 (Detective Maria Miller #3) by Helen Phifer

The Girls on Floor 13 (Detective Maria Miller #3)The Girls on Floor 13 by Helen Phifer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Helen Phifer’s Detective Maria Miller books are all super solid, page-turning Paranormal Mysteries. These books follow Maria Miller and her partner, Frankie, as they investigate cases that lack a normal, scientific explanation, and trust, these stories get DARK.

Located in New York City, there’s certainly no lack of bizarre happenings for them to investigate. Maria and Frankie have quickly become one of my favorite detective duos.

In this, the 3rd-installment to the series, Maria and Frankie are summoned to the Parker Hotel, an infamously haunted NYC-hotel, after the bodies of two teenage girls are found murdered in one of the rooms on the 13th floor.

The girls are laid out on the twin beds, as if on display. It’s a gruesome scene. As the investigation begins, the hotel manager shares some information with Maria that surprises her. A newspaper article reporting on an almost identical double murder that occurred in the hotel decades earlier.

In fact, a lot of people have suffered a tragic end at the hotel, some of the spirits reportedly still stalk the halls. Is there possibly some connection to the past in this case?

The more time they spend at the hotel, the more it seems to be effecting Maria. It feels like something has poisoned her body. It’s truly a race against the clock as they try to find the murderer, before they have the opportunity to strike again.

I found this mystery very intriguing. Phifer wastes no time diving into the main case we’re going to be examining. I appreciate how Phifer’s not afraid to get graphic. This one is definitely not for the faint of heart.

I loved the inspiration I felt from IRL Haunted Hotels. I know the author had a particular hotel in NYC in mind, but it immediately made me think of the Cecil Hotel. I mean, the watertower connection…

There’s def some creepy imagery in this. I feel like Phifer excels in that area. Let it be known, this is a true Paranormal Mystery. It’s not one of those, is it, is it not, cases. Go into this knowing it is absolutely, 100% Paranormal.

As with many Adult Mystery series, you can read this as a standalone. I would recommend reading the other books in the series though, as there is a lot of great character development for Maria and Frankie, as well as some really fun side characters, over the course of the three books.

With this being said, you could actually read this one first and then if you loved it enough, go back and read the other two. I would certainly have no problem with doing that.

This gets absolutely wild at the end. It’s so gripping. It’s compelling throughout, but the pace and the stakes really increase the closer you get to the end.

Overall, this was an entertaining, fast-paced, creepy mystery. I love how Phifer pulls a historical perspective into her stories as well. The back and forth and the way everything builds out is just very pleasing.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys Paranormal Mysteries, or Horror Mysteries. Maria and Frankie are like the Mulder and Scully of the NYPD.

Thank you to the publisher, Storm Publishing, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I can’t wait to see what comes next for these characters!

View all my reviews

Review: The Return of Ellie Black by Emiko Jean

The Return of Ellie BlackThe Return of Ellie Black by Emiko Jean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ellie Black has been missing for 2-years when she’s suddenly found by hikers in the woods of Washington State.

She’s distraught and disheveled, but where exactly has she been? Detective Chelsey Calhoun is shocked by Ellie’s reappearance, but unfortunately, Ellie’s not offering up a lot of answers. The mystery lingers.

For Chelsey, any missing person case hits close to home. Her sister, Lydia, went missing when they were just teens, and ever since, Chelsey has been searching for closure for herself, and any other missing girls out there.

As Chelsey begins questioning Ellie, she’s not able to get any real answers from her. It feels off, like Ellie is hiding something, but what? She’s a victim here, right?

This novel is insta-compelling. We kick off with Ellie being discovered and from there, it’s a ride. We get a lot of different perspectives, and even different points in time, as we begin to build out the truth behind this mystery.

I was initially surprised by all the perspectives, but somehow, it just worked. I also loved the tone from the start, how mysterious it all was.

This definitely kept me guessing and I appreciated how Jean continually added to the mystery. What started out as the mystery of what had happened to Ellie, ultimately evolved into so much more.

I thought Jean had some very clever reveals and I loved the thoughtful way she explored the topic of the exploitation and victimization of women.

Overall, I was impressed with this. The tone stood out for me. I’m not sure quite how to explain it, but it felt distinctive from other Missing Persons Thrillers. It’s quite character-drive, but so well-executed.

Thank you to the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’m looking forward to reading more from Emiko Jean!

View all my reviews

Review: A Game of Lies (DC Morgan #2) by Clare Mackinstosh

A Game of LiesA Game of Lies by Clare Mackintosh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A Game of Lies is the 2nd-installment to the DC Morgan Police Procedural Mystery series. The 1st-book in the series, The Last Party, knocked my socks off when I read it in 2022. I immediately fell for DC Ffion Morgan.

I have been anticipating this release for so long. I’m talking before it even had a cover long. I wanted to savor it, to take my time with the mystery, to let it all sink in…

I ended up binging it and it’s over. Now, the extended wait for the next book. I know it will be worth it though.

Oh also, I discovered, I guess I really love stories that revolve around reality programs. This is the second one I have read this week and I became so invested in both. The other being, Everyone Is Watching.

A new reality show, Exposure, is set to begin filming in the Welsh mountains. Seven contestants are selected, although it’s not necessarily clear what it involves.

After they’re all gathered together the true nature of the game is revealed. Each of the contestants has a secret. If any of the other players can guess it, they won’t be eliminated, but they will be exposed.

Ultimately, if it goes according to plan, it’ll end with everyone’s secrets being exposed, except for the one lucky winner, who will not only manage to keep their secret to themselves, but will also win a large cash prize.

The show concept is frightening as heck to the contestants. This wasn’t what they expected. Many of them have been hiding these secrets from the most important people in their lives. This could be devastating.

It’s too late now though, right, for anyone to change they’re mind? They can’t back out. They’re there. They’re cut off. What are they to do? It causes a lot of stress.

When one of the contestants disappears the police are notified. This wasn’t supposed to be part of the drama.

Ffion must forget what she’s already seen on the screen and put her detective cap on. The clock is ticking and it’s unclear whether the missing contestant means to harm themselves, or others. It’s imperative they’re found before the situation has a chance to escalate.

After a person involved with the show is murdered, it’s clear that things on the mountain have gone from bad to worse. Will Ffion be able to get to the bottom of this one, or will she be forced to step aside due to conflicts of interest?

I adored this. First, I was just so happy to be back with Ffion, all the side characters, and once again in this gorgeous natural setting with a small village feel.

Bonus, Ffion’s new rescue dog, the gassy and separation anxiety-ridden, Dave. We love a sweet pup being added to the cast of characters and Dave brought so much to the page.

In addition to the fun reality show concept, and the mystery, I also loved the forward progress we got to see in Ffion’s personal life. She’s definitely one of my favorite detective characters and I can’t wait to solve more cases with her.

I feel like the way this one left off, we can definitely plan on an exciting 3rd-installment. I know you won’t let us down, Mackintosh. The world is ready for more!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Sourcebooks Landmark, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I definitely recommend this series to any Police Procedural Mystery fans out there!!

View all my reviews

Review: Northwoods by Amy Pease

NorthwoodsNorthwoods by Amy Pease
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Northwoods is a debut Crime Thriller/Mystery from author, Amy Pease. I love checking out new authors and am glad that I picked this one up.

Set in the small resort town of Shaky Lake, Wisconsin, this mystery circles around a well-known crisis in America, the opioid epidemic. Eli North is a deputy in Shaky Lake, whose own life is a bit shaky at the moment.

Eli, after returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, turns to alcohol as a way to cope with his overwhelming PTSD. As expected, it has disastrous effects.

His marriage is over and he’s had to take a job working for his Mom, the only person who would actually hire him and keep him on, putting up with his less than savory habits. His mother just so happens to be the Sheriff of Shaky Lake…

The mystery begins with a teenage boy’s body being found in a boat, and a teenage girl being reported missing. As a resort town, the lake draws a lot of outsiders, so solving crimes like these aren’t always as simple as it may seem and this one is anything but simple.

We follow Eli, and the rest of the small department, as they try to figure out this mess and set their beloved town to rights. They’re also joined by FBI Agent, Alyssa Mason.

I enjoyed this, it’s a good story. I liked how nuanced the mystery was and the setting was great. I live in a resort town, so I totally understand the vibes and the different challenges that these characters were facing there.

I also tend to enjoy main characters like Eli; a little damaged, going through some major struggles, but still doing their best and trying to do the right thing.

I liked how Pease chose to make his Mom the Sheriff. I thought that was a interesting dynamic, particularly as it influenced the investigation. The Department is small and they have limited resources. It made them feel like more than coworkers; they were all in this together.

I’m not sure really, I guess I haven’t looked into it, whether or not this is going to be a series, but I would definitely be picking up the next book, if there is another one.

I feel like Pease did a great job here setting the foundation for what could be a fantastic, gritty, page-turning Police Procedural Mystery series.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Caz Frear’s Cat Kinsella series. This reminded me a lot of that, as far as the overall tone and having a compelling protagonist struggling with personal issues.

Further, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys Crime Thrillers that examine the underbelly of our society, and aren’t afraid to really dig into why some of these societal issues may exist, or where they stem from.

Thank you to the publisher, Atria, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I am glad to have been introduced to Amy Pease. I’m looking forward to picking up whatever she writes next!

View all my reviews

Review: All the Dark Places (Detective Rita Myers #1) by Terri Parlato

All the Dark PlacesAll the Dark Places by Terri Parlato
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

All the Dark Places is the start of Terri Parlato’s Detective Rita Myers Mystery series. There are 2-books released thus far, with the 2nd-book having just come out this past December.

I actually read them out of order, starting with What Waits in the Woods. I really enjoyed it and knew immediately that I needed to read this 1st-book ASAP.

I loved Rita and needed more of her in my life!

This is a dual perspective story following Detective Rita Myers, our MC, and Molly Bradley, the woman most closely linked to the mystery tackled in this book.

This story is set during the first week of January, which incidentally is when I read it. This tickled me for some reason. This has no bearing on my review, I just thought it was a funny coincidence.

So, it’s the first week of January and Molly has planned a dinner party for her husband, Jay’s, 40th-birthday. They have their tight-knit group of friends, which consists of three other local couples, over to the house.

It’s a great time. There’s plenty of drinks, laughs, food and even a beautiful cake. At the end of the night, the wine has definitely gone to Molly’s head. She heads upstairs to bed while Jay sees the other couples out.

The next morning when Molly wakes, Jay isn’t in the bedroom. He isn’t in the house at all and no coffee has been made. Fearing something is wrong, Molly rushes out to his office, housed in an outbuilding on their property. It’s there that she finds his dead body.

Detective Rita Myers is assigned to Jay Bradley’s case. An experienced detective, Rita is convinced that Jay’s murder isn’t some random act of violence. She believes someone in their circle is responsible for his death.

The investigation leaves no stone unturned as Rita digs into Molly and Jay’s life. It turns out, their group, like most, is hiding a lot deep dark secrets, including Molly herself.

It’s really hard for me to not 5-star a book that keeps me invested for an entire day. I flew through this and loved it. It wasn’t totally perfect, but pretty damn close.

I am well and truly invested in Detective Rita Myers now. I can’t wait for more books in this series, but I have a feeling, since the second one just released, that I’m in for quite a wait before book three.

I listened to the audiobook for both and loved them so much. It’s dual narrators, to fit the dual perspective and the narrators truly captured the spirit of these characters.

I definitely recommend this series to any Reader who enjoys Police Procedural Mysteries, or Crime Thrillers. Parlato’s mysteries are engaging and hard to put down once you start.

Detective Myers is such a compelling MC as well. She’s someone you can really get behind. She’s strong, smart, determined and always looking to do what’s right.

When I say I read this straight through, I’m not joking. I was on a journey with these characters. I didn’t even have time to make status updates. That’s how invested I was. I’m actually hoping for a paycheck from Rita’s department for my efforts.

If you’re looking for a strong new Mystery series to start, look no further. This is where it’s at. While you’re reading it, I’ll just be over here patiently waiting for more!!

View all my reviews

Review: What Waits in the Woods (Detective Rita Myers #2) by Terri Parlato

What Waits in the WoodsWhat Waits in the Woods by Terri Parlato
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What Waits in the Woods is the 2nd-book in Terri Parlato’s Detective Rita Myers series. This is an Adult Police Procedural Mystery following, you guessed it, Detective Rita Myers.

I actually didn’t read the 1st-book, All the Dark Places, prior to reading this one, but I enjoyed this so much, I started the 1st-book immediately after and have already finished it.

It’s fair to say, I will continue to pick up each book in this series as they’re released. Keep ’em coming, Parlato!

This is a dual perspective story following Detective Myers and Esmé Foster, a young woman directly connected to the mystery investigated in this book.

I listened to the audiobook and the dual narrators truly brought these two perspectives to life.

Esmé left her small hometown of Graybridge, 11-years ago to pursue her ballet career. After an injury and a recent break-up though, she decides it’s finally time to return after she gets a call from her brother stating their father isn’t well.

The day that Esmé returns, a body is discovered on her family property. She arrives home to police cars and questions, not exactly the homecoming she was expecting.

Making matters worse is the fact that the dead body isn’t just some stranger, it’s Kara Cunningham, one of Esmé’s closest childhood friends.

Esmé is devastated by the loss of her friend, but there’s something else needling her as well. Esmé and Kara looked a lot alike, what if she was actually the intended target?

Esmé has her reasons for believing this could be the case, but it’s going to take her processing a lot of old baggage to actually figure it out.

Detective Rita Myers gets called to the Foster property after the discovery of Kara’s body and immediately digs in to her investigation. Detective Myers has a lot of experience and genuine care in her work.

There’s no doubt she is going to get to the bottom of this grisly crime, no matter what it takes.

I had so much fun reading this. The mystery was intriguing, the plot was fast-paced and the reveals were exciting and more often than not, unexpected.

I think Detective Myers is a fabulous main character and I know I am just going to become more and more attached to her as the series continues.

She’s a seasoned detective, no-nonsense and smart. She works with a lot of younger detectives and cops and you can tell that they look up to her as a leader.

I also enjoyed getting to know her more on a personal side outside of work. She has some interesting neighbors and even a potential love interest that I am hoping to learn more about in subsequent books.

As with many Mystery series, I don’t feel like you need to necessarily read these books in order. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything going into this because I hadn’t read the 1st-book yet. It’s a complete story unto itself.

I do feel, though, that this is the type of series where the longer you stay involved with this group of characters, the more attached you become, and the higher your enjoyment level will ultimately be.

I knew right away that I would continue on with this series. The writing is compelling, the mystery is well-formatted and the characters are likable.

This is a very solid Police Procedural Mystery. I would recommend it for fans of Caz Frear’s Cat Kinsella series, or Gytha Lodge’s DCI Jonah Sheens series, as I feel like the tone here and quality of the mystery are very similar to those.

Thank you to the publisher, Recorded Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I’m so excited to have a new Mystery author to follow. I hope this series keeps going for a long, long time!

View all my reviews

Review: The Haunting on West 10th Street (Detective Maria Miller #1) by Helen Phifer

The Haunting on West 10th Street (Detective Maria Miller, #1)The Haunting on West 10th Street by Helen Phifer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Haunting on West 10th Street is the 1st-book in the Detective Maria Miller Police Procedural Mystery series by Helen Phifer.

In this story we follow Detective Miller and her partner, Frankie, as they investigate a brutal crime in the attic of a Greenwich brownstone, where decades earlier a beautiful actress was murdered in the same way. The detectives are puzzled by the disturbing similarities between the crimes occurring in this house.

How could they be connected? Do they just have a sadistic copycat on their hands, or something more sinister?

Immediately upon entering the brownstone, Maria feels something dark. It’s a tickle in her senses; unpleasant and unsettling. The dramatic staging of the crime scene only enhances these feelings.

In both the past and present cases, body parts were removed from the victims and not recovered. Additionally, evidence of satanic rituals have been found. Who could possibly want to recreate something so evil?

This story is told using a dual timeline. We follow Maria and Frankie in the present, but we also get a historical perspective featuring the events leading up to the previous murder in the house. Lastly, we do get a modern perspective from an unknown individual, who appears to be our baddie.

I enjoyed getting the multi-perspectives, as well as the history. Although I did find the past sections a little slower-paced than the modern perspectives. With this being said, I still enjoyed the fact that it was told this way and I feel like it gave a lot of needed insight into the property and the characters involved.

The brownstone on West 10th feels like a haunting presence in this story. It becomes a character unto itself and I always appreciate when an author can provide us with such a vivid sense of place.

There is quite a bit of focus on the partnership between Maria and Frankie. They’ve been together for a long time and you can tell that they both care deeply for one another, but with Frankie’s marriage failing, could there be something more?

I know some Readers won’t care for the slight romance plot that’s woven throughout this story, but for me, I found it made the characters feel more realistic.

When you’re working with someone as closely as these two are, over a number of years, there’s bound to be some types of complicated feelings intrinsic to that relationship.

I didn’t feel like the author overplayed that, or let it overshadow the investigative aspects of the story. For me, it was blended in well and felt natural.

I did have the chance to listen to the audiobook for this one and I definitely recommend it as a format for this story. The back-and-forth between the timelines was handled well and the narration is fantastic.

Overall, this was super entertaining. I vibed well with Maria as a character and am definitely looking forward to going along on future investigations with these detectives. The ending was such a great set-up for the continuation of the series. I can’t wait to see what will come their way next.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys darker, Police Procedural Mysteries. Particularly, if you are a Horror fan like me, this may work really well for your tastes. Phifer definitely has a knack for incorporating some paranormal aspects into her mysteries.

Thank you to the publisher, Storm Publishing, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I can’t wait to continue on with this series!

View all my reviews

Review: The Raging Storm (Two Rivers #3) by Ann Cleeves

The Raging Storm (Two Rivers #3)The Raging Storm by Ann Cleeves
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

The Raging Storm is the third release in the Two Rivers series by beloved Mystery author, Ann Cleeves.

This Police Procedural Mystery series follows Detective Matthew Venn. I loved the first book in the series and have been hooked on it ever since. I feel like I have been waiting for this release for so long and it did not disappoint!!

The setting for this story is the small village of Greystone, Devon, a place Venn is very familiar with. He spent time there as a child, and due to personal reasons, has since parted ways with the community.

This might sound ominous, and it sort of is. If you’ve read the previous books, you’ll know, but basically, Matthew was raised in a very religious household; part of the Barum Brethren, who have many members living in Greystone.

Matthew’s sexuality, among other things, forced his separation from the group and family. Even the thought of returning makes him uncomfortable, but he’s a professional and goes where he must.

Duty calls after the body of minor-celebrity sailor, Jem Roscoe, has been discovered in a dinghy anchored off Scully Cove. The residents of Greystone are shocked.

Roscoe, who grew up there, had returned after many years away and was renting a cottage. He just came back a few weeks ago, who could possibly want him dead?

Everyone seemed to find his presence entertaining. Many were curious as to why he came back. When asked, he claimed to be waiting for a visitor, but never indicated who. Could this person be the one responsible for his death?

Matthew, along with his team members, Jen Rafferty and Ross May, head to Greystone to investigate this highly mysterious death.

As they begin their investigation, talking with the locals and digging into the lore and history of the town, they discover this mystery may run much deeper than they initially expected. As mentioned, Roscoe did have roots in the community, even if he had been away for many years.

With storm fronts ripping through the small town, the investigation takes many unexpected turns as we rushed towards the surprising and satisfying conclusion.

I had so much fun with this. The audiobook is fantastic. I definitely recommend that as a format for this story.

I love Matthew as a character. He is smart, dedicated, but also still processing his childhood and schism from his family and community. This makes him feel vulnerable at times. He’s healed a lot, is happily married and obviously successful in his career, but those old insecurities sneak up on him sometimes.

I feel like his character is just so relatable and I think a lot of Readers will be able to really connect with him.

In addition to a compelling leading man, these novels contain exceptionally well-plotted mysteries. I loved how this one evolved over the course of the story.

You can tell from the very start that Cleeves is a veteran-Mystery writer. This lady knows what she is doing. All you have to do is sit back, relax and take it all in.

I love mystery stories set in small towns and this one is a perfect example of why. As the detectives began questioning the locals, they certainly learned a lot. There are so many connections and everyone knows each other’s business.

It was interesting that Jem Rosco, who was originally from the town, had gained some celebrity. They all had opinions on that, whether it was based on who he was when he was young, or assumptions they made about his character now. I loved how he created such a fervor just by returning to town.

The rumor mills were churning even before he got himself killed. That may sound harsh, but seriously, the town was just a’clucking about his return.

I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who enjoys Police Procedural Mysteries. I think this whole series is just incredible. The writing is fantastic, the characters well-developed and the mysteries all super compelling.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Minotaur Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I cannot wait for the next book!!!

View all my reviews

Review: What Remains by Wendy Walker

What RemainsWhat Remains by Wendy Walker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After a violent incident in a department store, Detective Elise Sutton was hailed a hero in her community. The truth is though, Elise doesn’t feel like one.

She’s battling complicated and conflicting emotions about that day and the only person who seems to understand is the man she saved. A man she comes to know as Wade Austin. The two of them are now connected by the event.

Unfortunately for Elise, he’ll never let her go.

Elise quickly realizes she’s called a wolf to her door. This man is not who he says he is and soon he becomes an eminent threat to her and everyone she cares for.

Racing against the clock, Elise works to outsmart him and severe their tie before it’s too late. This guy has done his homework though and always seems two steps ahead.

Y,all! Wendy Walker has done it again. This was so gripping. The opening scene, oh my word, I was at the edge of my seat. 100% in it.

There were a lot of elements to this, like Wade’s interactions with Elise, that really got under my skin. The circumstances were playing off some of my own real-life fears. I always love when a narrative is actually able to raise my heart rate and that was certainly the case here.

I liked Elise as a main character. She was smart, resourceful and fiercely independent. I did get angry at her now and again for her secretiveness, but I understand her motivations for being that way.

I loved her partner, Rowan. I sort of wish we would get more Thrillers with them as a detective duo. I feel like there is more we could explore with them personally and since they specialize in cold cases, I am sure there is plenty of interesting mysteries for them to dig into.

Wishful thinking, I know. I’m sure this is a standalone, but this just gives you an idea of how much Walker sold me on this detective partnership.

In addition to the steady pace and tension throughout, the ending of this got nail-biting intense. I was at the edge of my seat, flying through the pages so fast, I think I saw sparks come from the end of my fingers.

I would absolutely recommend this to people who enjoy a taut, intense, well-plotted Thriller. I always enjoy Walker’s stories, but I think this is my favorite one yet!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Blackstone Publishing, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I’m sure you can tell by this review, but I’ll say it one more time, I loved it!!

View all my reviews

Review: All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby

All the Sinners BleedAll the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

When I first completed the audiobook for All the Sinners Bleed I decided to give it 4.5-stars, not rounded up. My thought process was that I didn’t connect to it emotionally in the same way that I did Razorblade Tears, which I gave 5-stars.

For some reason, in my little pea-brain, I was thinking because I didn’t feel that way that it wasn’t as good a story for me as that one. Hence the slightly lower rating.

Even though that was my reasoning initially, and I stress the initially part, I was wrong. Here we are, a full 4-days after I completed the book, and I cannot stop thinking about Titus, Charon County, or this mystery.

First, can we all acknowledge that Adam Lazarre-White is one of the most talented voice artists out there. I could listen to him read anything and be lulled into happiness. It’s true. You think I’m embellishing, but I’m not.

In this story we follow Titus Crowne, the first black sheriff of Charon County in Virginia. Titus used to work for the FBI, but decided to come home for a number of different reasons.

He ran for sheriff with the hopes of making a difference in his community; changing it for the better. The job has had it’s ups-and-downs, but overall, it seems they’re are making headway. Then, a year to the day after his election, a school shooting rocks their small community.

Caution: Scenes from school shooting on page.

A teacher is dead and the shooter, a former student and someone Titus knows well, is shot and killed by the responding deputies.

Even though there are many witnesses, Titus insists on an internal review of the shooting. It’s the right thing to do.

Looking into the teacher, and the former student, Titus and his department unknowingly open up a big ole’ can of worms. It appears the student was abused by the teacher. The teacher everyone felt was so pristine was anything but.

Y’all, this story goes dark and I loved it. It’s extremely interesting. There are religious elements, a cult-like atmosphere, buried bodies and so many secrets it makes Washington D.C. seem transparent.

The most compelling thing about this novel though is simply Cosby’s quality of storytelling. From the very first chapter I was reminded of how easy it is to get swept away by his writing. The way the plot and characters are developed is a masterclass in style.

Titus is such a great main character. He has so many admirable qualities, but he also has a past. He’s human, he struggles with things and second-guesses himself, but he always works hard to do the right thing. He’s the type of character you want to succeed.

He’s also the type of character I’m really hoping I will meet again. To my knowledge, this is a standalone novel, but man, would I love to someday get a follow-up. I’m not ready to say goodbye to Titus.

The mystery aspect, which involves many dead bodies, goes there. It gets graphic. I was actually surprised by how dark certain scenes got. I was living for it.

I recommend this to Readers who enjoyed The Echo Man. If you like that mystery, I think you could end up really vibing with this one as well. There was just something about this that gave me the same level of toe-curling enjoyment that that one did.

I loved following along with this investigation and felt my pulse ratchet up a notch every time the stakes were raised, which spoiler alert, was a lot!

I highly recommend this one for your Summer reading list. If you love a fast-paced, intense, Police Procedural Thriller, this is an absolute must for you. It’s a nail-biter!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I loved this!

View all my reviews