This book lit my brain up like a Christmas tree. Nobody knows why certain books hit certain people like they do. That’s part of the magic of art, and of reading. But it worked for me in individual pieces, and it worked as a whole. During parts of it, I could practically hear my synapses yelling far off in the distance a gleeful “wheeeee”.
So, here are all the individual components that got me:
*The main character, Shea, reads mystery and crime fiction, and reads and writes true crime.
*She is also standoffish and independent, fighting with herself internally over her fears and insecurities, and her self-constructed boundaries. Relatable.
*The main plot features Shea and her hired PI investigating an infamous cold case where a local wealthy young woman was arrested but acquitted of murder.
*Unabashed female serial killer.
*The strong presence of a cat.
*Two timelines, two different types of POV (first person for Shea, third person for Beth). St. James doing her classic historical crime fiction/contemporary crime fiction combo. With the added sprinkle on the cake of gHoOoOsTs (as per usual with this author).
*Extremely well done parallel thematics, re: Shea and Beth.
*Badass ladies and their anger, overcoming trauma.
*Sociopaths! Or, actually it’s probably psychopaths. Not good IRL, but great to read about in a book.
I could honestly keep going, but I don’t want to spoil the book. This is my favorite of the three St. James books I’ve read. I really want to dig into her backlist now, before she became a bestseller. I’m curious to see how she’s evolved as a writer.
If you like: mysteries, ghosts, cold cases, true crime, this one is worth checking out.