REVIEW: THE MISSING SISTER, BY ELLE MARR

In Paris, her twin sister has vanished, leaving behind three chilling words: Trust no one.

Shayna Darby is finally coming to terms with her parents’ deaths when she’s delivered another blow. The body of her estranged twin sister, Angela—the possible victim of a serial killer—has been pulled from the Seine. Putting what’s left of her life on hold, Shayna heads to Paris. But while cleaning out Angela’s apartment, Shayna makes a startling discovery: a coded message meant for her alone…

Alive. Trust no one.

Taking the warning to heart, Shayna maintains the lie. She makes a positive ID on the remains and works to find out where—and why—her missing sister is hiding. Shayna retraces her sister’s footsteps, and they lead her down into Paris’s underbelly.

As she gets closer to the truth—and to the killer—Shayna’s own life may now be in the balance…

Shayna is the first person narrator of The Missing Sister, and when she arrives in Paris to search for her twin, she is unsure if her sister is missing or dead.

She follows clues she finds in Angela’s apartment, and accepts help from a man she believes to be her sister’s boyfriend. There was something off about him, but also the man who claimed to work for the embassy set off red flags, too.

Would Shayna figure out what happened to Angela? Would she escape those who seem to be following her? Who is the serial killer that seems to be one step ahead of her while she searches?

An engaging story that kept me turning the pages, I was happy when the answers were finally revealed. 4.5 stars.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “COP TOWN”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

In last week’s Bookish Friday, I enjoyed excerpting “Who Do You Love.”

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a mystery from Karin Slaughter:  Cop Town.

 

 

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Beginning:  (Prologue, November 1974)

Dawn broke over Peachtree Street.  The sun razored open the downtown corridor, slicing past the construction cranes waiting to dip into the earth and pull up skyscrapers, hotels, convention centers.

(Day One – Monday – Chapter One)

Maggie Lawson was upstairs in her bedroom when she heard the phone ringing in the kitchen.  She checked her watch.  There was nothing good about a phone ringing this early in the morning.

***

56:  Maggie nodded.

“So this is how day one goes down:  Our boys are gonna throw every pimp they can find into the slammer.  Lock up the pimps, then the girls spend all day getting high and sleeping.”

***

Blurb:  Karin Slaughter, author of the bestselling Will Trent novels, is widely acclaimed as “one of the best crime novelists in America” (The Washington Post). Now she delivers her first stand-alone novel: an epic story of a city in the midst of seismic upheaval, a serial killer targeting cops, and a divided police force tasked with bringing a madman to justice.

Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city’s police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She’s determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way—wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD, where even the female cops have little mercy for rookies. It’s also the worst day possible to start given that a beloved cop has been gunned down, his brothers in blue are out for blood, and the city is on the edge of war.

Kate isn’t the only woman on the force who’s feeling the heat. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When she and Kate, her new partner, are pushed out of the citywide search for a cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach the boiling point. With a killer poised to strike again, they will pursue their own line of investigation, risking everything as they venture into the city’s darkest heart.

Relentlessly paced, acutely observed, wickedly funny, and often heartbreaking, Cop Town is Karin Slaughter’s most powerful novel yet—a tour de force of storytelling from our foremost master of character, atmosphere, and suspense.

***

What do you think?  Does this one grab you and make you want to keep reading?  I know I’m eager.

***

REVIEW: BLOOD RED, BY WENDY CORSI STAUB

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In Mundy’s Landing, on the banks of the Hudson River, a gruesome heritage lurks. The Sleeping Beauty murders of 1916 are memorialized by the Historical Society, and have become legendary.

Rowan Mundy is married to Jake, descendant to some of the more famous (or infamous) Mundys, but Jake and Rowan are upstanding citizens. Parents, professionals, and contributing members of the community.

Their three children, Blake, Katie, and Mitch, are their pride and joy, even though Mitch is sometimes as troubled as Rowan recalls herself to be as a teenager. But nowadays, Rowan is a fourth-grade teacher in the school that she herself attended.

Rowan’s red hair has become the focus of an unknown person, a stalker, and possibly the man murdering young red-haired women throughout the Tri-State area.

Blood Red: Mundy’s Landing Book One has multiple narrators, including Rowan, her sister Noreen, her youngest son Mick, and a stalker called “Casey,” although it isn’t long before we suspect that there is much more to “Casey” than we can tell from his narrative.

Fourteen years ago, Rowan had a brief encounter with Rick Walker, the next door neighbor, and while their interaction was mostly kissing, she is still troubled by what happened.

When she starts receiving anonymous packages, beginning with a box of burnt cookies, symbolic of that afternoon encounter, she begins to suspect Rick. But as more and more time passes, along with some very strange incidents, we realize that Rowan is in danger…and the mysterious narrator is somehow involved.

Who is Casey? And what, if anything, does Rick have to do with these events?

Numerous characters suddenly look suspicious, and before long, we begin to think that the killer could be someone very close to Rowan. But who? And as more bodies pile up, NYPD detectives also become involved, and they are zeroing in on Mundy’s Landing. I enjoyed this page-turning mystery with characters that felt so real they might have been neighbors or friends, and can easily award 4.5 stars.