Monday, June 17, 2024

Murder Road

Murder Road / Simone St James
New York : Berkley, ©2024
342 p.

Now for some contemporary mystery reading! I enjoy Simone St. James and will always pick up her books. This is the latest one, and it reflects her shift toward true crime inspired fiction that has informed her last couple of books. 

Set in 1995, it features a young couple, April and Eddie, who have just somehow gotten married and are heading for a country inn for their honeymoon. But it's late, and they miss a turn, and then they are suddenly on a dark and lonely stretch of highway where they pick up a hitchhiker who turns out to be bleeding heavily. They rush her to the nearest hospital, but she dies, and April and Eddie can't leave town - they are now the main suspects. 

This feels nostalgic, like it should even be set in 1985, with that tinge of Stranger Things vibe going on. April and Eddie are staying at a b&b with a no-nonsense policeman's widow who gives things to them straight. They also meet two odd sisters, high school students who are obsessed with true crime and give them the lowdown on the pattern of murders along that highway over the years and the many theories as to the killer's identity. 

But it's darker than everyone thinks, and there is a reason that April and Eddie have ended up there. Supernatural chills, mystery, library research, young love, and small towns combine into a book I really enjoyed. I found it chilling and spooky, but also liked the other parts of the book - the characters, the way this small town was described, and the final reveal. Great chilling summer reading for crime fans.


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