BLUF: Good for those who enjoy a focus on the relationships in their murder mysteries. (Can be read as a standalone.)
**I was provided a copy of this book from netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review**
Dead List follows two stories: the one of the killer and the one of the detectives. The killer, near death, murders out of a need for retribution. She starts as a sincere killer, leaving a calling card at the murder scenes in order to avoid implicating an innocent person, but soon realizes the thrill of killing and a never-ending list of people who deserve death. The detectives, on the other hand, find themselves at odds with changes on the force, new developments in their relationships, and, of course, figuring out who is murdering seemingly random individuals. On top of the murders, there are two young girls missing. Will the detectives be able to save the girls and find the murderer before it’s too late?
I’m not a big fan of knowing who the killer is upfront as it takes away any thriller aspect the book may have otherwise have, but it’s easy to forgive this novel for it given the motives of the killer and her logic surrounding the kills. Not to mention, the killer is very likeable. (How many times have you said that when reading a murder mystery?)
As for starting the series in the middle, there is always the fear that reader will miss key aspects from the previous books – especially when it comes to the characters and their relationships. In Dead List, this wasn’t the case. The character’s personalities are well written and their interactions are fluid. I felt like I entered into a new group of friends. They are intriguing, quirky, and digging themselves into holes - just like in real life. I love it.
The downfall of this book is that it emphasizes the characters and their relationships over the murder or the missing girl cases. Given that we know the murderer upfront, this wasn’t a problem for me, but I hope that this series moves forward with increasing focus on the murderer(s) over the individual characters.
All-in-all, I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the first two books in the series. It was a good, light read.
Side note: The author includes a glossary at the end of the book for those of us who are unfamiliar with British slang. I gave up looking up British slang in other books and am SO thankful for the consideration.