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Feature book: Murder Most Unusual

16 May 2018

Murder Most Unusual by Michelle Somers

Subgenre: romantic suspense
Release date: 7 Feb 2017
Publisher: Thrasher Publishing
Format: ebook
Length: 616 pages

I didn’t read the prequel to this book, Lethal in Love, before I read this one, and apart from an initial slight confusion about the familiarity between some of the characters, it didn’t seem to matter. But obviously homicide detective Chase Durant and murder mystery novelist Stacey Holland have a little ‘history’ before this book, so the fun preliminaries of getting-to-know-you were already a thing of the past. I rolled with it—and am now tempted to read the first book. I did enjoy the cynicism and barbed, snippy verbal encounters these two initially have. No love lost!

To Chase and then Stacey’s dawning horror, it becomes evident there is a serial killer who is murdering people in the exact way Stacey has written for her murder victims. Cue Stacey becoming a suspect, which she gets totally cranky pants about. Then both realise the killer is murdering more people based on Stacey’s as yet unpublished manuscript. So, who’s had access to her manuscript? Impossible to judge this one; there are so many clues and red herrings it’s a bit tricky to pin down one suspect. Make that one totally out-of-their-mind suspect. We do get to read some chapters in the killer’s point of view, and they do present as a coldly crazy nuts evil psychopath.

Slowly, slowly, the net tightens … but it still wasn’t who I thought it was—although the identity of the killer at one stage was a ‘maybe’ for me. The showdown was possibly one of the most dramatic I’ve ever read, with incredibly high stakes. I didn’t see how anyone could get out alive.

I was rather freaked out by the stalking and graphic torture/killing bits, but I know others enjoy a grittier approach. Anyway, warning: don’t eat and read at the same time. My copy has a written message from Ms Somers to: ‘Make sure you read it with the lights on!’. Absolutely.

I did love the references to the Romance Writers of Australia and their RuBY award, which is exactly what Ms Somers won with her first book. And the irony when Chase wonders how on earth Stacey manages to think up the stuff she writes. The browser history of murder mystery romance authors must look astonishing. Lastly, I enjoyed the references to ‘Thrasher Publishing’, Stacey’s publishers—who also published this book. Heh.

This is a big, rollicking, doorstopper of a book that catches and enthrals, with the bonus hot romance between Stacey and Chase. Read it with the lights on.

reviewed by Malvina

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.


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