Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: A Season to Lie

Summary: In Emily Littlejohn's follow-up to her acclaimed debut Inherit the Bones, a twisted killer stalks his prey in the dead of winter.

On a cold dark night in February, as a blizzard shrieks through Cedar Valley, police officer and new mother Gemma Monroe responds to an anonymous report of a prowler at the local private high school, The Valley Academy. In her idyllic Colorado small town, Gemma expects the call was just a prank by a bored teenager.

But there in the snow lies the savaged body of a man whose presence in town was meant to be a secret. And a disturbing message left by his killer promises more death to come.

This is only the beginning . . .

Nothing is as it seems in Cedar Valley and stories, both fact and fiction, ensnare Gemma as her investigation moves from the halls of an elite academy to the forests that surround Cedar Valley.

Against a backdrop of bleak winter weather, stymied by those who would lie to protect what is dearest to them, Gemma hunts a ruthless killer before he strikes again in A Season to Lie. -- Minotaur Books

I am usually reluctant to start a series with book two; however, I made an exception to the new novel A SEASON TO LIE by Emily Littlejohn. The book sounded like one I'd enjoy, and I am always on the lookout for a new-to-me author and a new-to-me mystery series. Even though this is the second book in the Gemma Monroe series, I had absolutely no problem following the story. In fact, there were just enough teasers about what happened in the first book in the series, INHERIT THE BONES, that I want to go back and read that one!

A SEASON TO LIE takes place in the dead of winter in Cedar Valley, Colorado. Gemma Monroe is a police officer in Cedar Valley who is back after staying at home for a few months with her new baby daughter. On her first day back, Gemma is expecting some snow-related accidents, but she definitely wasn't ready for what she had to face -- a brutal murder of a famous author at the local private high school. To make things even more mysterious, there is a note left in his mouth saying, "This is only the beginning..."

Gemma jumps right into the investigation of this murder and suspects that it has something to do with the Valley Academy. She investigates the author's background to see why someone would want him dead, while also looking into some strange (and evil) behavior at the high school. Fearful that she has a serial killer on her hands, she worries that she must find out who's responsible before he or she strikes again.

I really enjoyed A SEASON TO LIE. I absolutely loved the character of Gemma Monroe, both in her professional and personal lives. She was extremely relatable as a new mom and a woman concerned with trusting her boyfriend, but I also enjoyed how she mingled with her co-workers. Needless to say she is extremely human and definitely devoted to tracking down the murderer. She's also very insightful and I enjoyed seeing how her mind worked through the crimes in this story.

I also found the murder mysteries to be intriguing. I actually figured out who was responsible for the murder fairly early in the novel... and I even realized the motive which is highly unusual for me. In addition, there was a side mystery that I solved; however, I couldn't figure out how this storyline tied into the murder. What surprised me the most about this novel was that even though I had a feeling where the story was going, I still really enjoyed the ride. I just loved the characters, the setting, and Ms. Littlejohn's writing; and I now consider myself a fan of this series!

A SEASON TO LIE is a solid mystery that's sure to entertain fans of stories with smart female characters. Highly recommended!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Great characters are what keep me going back to a series. This sounds like a good one.