A thrilling crime fiction.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
‘Not all evil, on the surface, is ugly and menacing. It doesn’t always lurk in city centres after dark. It mows your lawns, frequents your local pub, takes its kids to school and contributes to communities.’
When the first letter arrives saying that ‘tonight it begins’, journalist Miller Hatcher ignores it. But then the body of a murdered woman is discovered, strangled, a scarf around her neck.
Cassie Hughes has always vowed to find the man who murdered her mother. Cassie knows he’s out there and wants him to pay, and Miller agrees to bring the cold case back into the public’s eye.
Logan Dodds has been obsessed with true crime ever since his sister was murdered thirty years ago. He has turned his obsession into a career and has created the True Crime Enthusiasts Club and his newest venture, True Crime Tours.
The lives of Miller, Cassie and Logan – all affected differently by murder – become entwined as The Scarf Killer, desperate for infamy, and Miller’s attention, makes his mark on the small town of Lentford.
WHO ARE THE PLAYERS
Miller – a journalist who receives anonymous letters from the killer.
Kahu – the lead detective investigating the murders.
Cassie – a young girl whose mother goes missing when she was a child and whose skeleton is found years later in the small town of Lentford.
Logan – a man obsessed with criminal masterminds after his sister’s death.
Lentford – a small town whose gossip mills don’t spare anybody and whose inhabitants specialize in putting their nose in everybody’s business.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
The Murder Club by Nikki Crutchley is a well-written, small-town, character-centric, crime fiction set in New Zealand.
The first half is a bit slow, introducing the various characters central to the plot and their backstories, but the second half is fast-paced and engaging.
This book is not a police procedural. It did not make me privy to the police proceedings. However, it allowed me a glimpse into them via Kahu’s conversations with Miller about the investigation. So, the book heavily leans towards Miller’s amateurish foray into the investigation which is a good thing.
Crutchley lays bare all the pieces of the puzzle beforehand. Now, it is Miller’s job to piece them back to grasp the complete picture. The lucid language made it easy for me to follow Miller as she went the old-fashioned way of interviewing people (perks of being a journalist) and got an insight into the lives of people crucial to the mystery of the disappearing women.
Two threads run in parallel in this book. I honestly could not see how these two threads would intertwine, but the explosive reveal in the climax took my breath away.
The book kept me awake at night. I was eager to find out the identity of the serial killer as well as what would happen to Cassie.
Crutchley skillfully draws the characters in The Murder Club. I loved everyone of them, especially, Miller and Kahu. Miller is a complex character battling her demons from the past, striving hard to not let them win. Cassie is a vulnerable girl, lost, confused, and angry after her mother’s murder, while Logan was a disturbing individual. I was riveted by the stories of all the three characters equally.
Although the events of book 1 in the series are mentioned several times, this book stands on its own. Moreover, the small-town environment with its perpetually churning gossip mill was depicted well.
Recommended for lovers of crime fiction.
Genre: Thriller/Mystery/Suspense || Pages: 314 || Published on August 31st 2020 by Oak House Press
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Many thanks to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for organizing this blog tour. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
After seven years of working as a librarian in New Zealand and overseas, Nikki now works as a freelance proofreader and copy editor. She lives in the small Waikato town of Cambridge in New Zealand with her husband and two girls.
Nikki has been writing on and off her whole life and before she turned to crime writing had success in flash fiction. She has been published in ‘Bonsai: Best Small Fictions from Aotearoa New Zealand‘, and ‘Fresh Ink‘ anthologies.
Crime/thriller/mystery novels are her passion. Her first novel, ‘Nothing Bad Happens Here‘, featuring journalist Miller Hatcher, is set on the Coromandel Coast of New Zealand. It was a finalist in the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Award for best first novel. Her second book, ‘No One Can Hear You‘, was long-listed for the Ngaio Marsh Award for best novel in 2019. ‘The Murder Club’ is the second in the Miller Hatcher series.