What makes a good murder mystery? Plot? Characters? Carnage? All of the above, sure, but what makes a REALLY good murder mystery is when you don’t guess the ending or there’s an interesting twist, or you are left hanging, unsure of what actually happened. I read so many of these books that it’s hard to pull the wool over my eyes but the book I just finished did just that. It was twisted, gruesome, and I was left hanging. Read this book and tell me your thoughts/theories/opinions.
She was standing in the middle of the room covered from head to toe in blood, as if someone had upended a bucket full of it over her head. The bodies of 3 people were scattered around the room and a baby was crying. This was Michael’s first glimpse of Marie that horrific night but it wouldn’t be his last. She was being held in the jail of the tiny town where his dad was the sheriff, where nothing really bad ever happened until that night, those people, the boy who was in Michael’s class at school. No one could get anything out of her but she decided to open up to Michael, to tell him her story. For weeks, months Marie’s story ebbed and flowed around the events leading up to the last three murders committed by a serial killer. The murders were called the Bloodless Murders because the victims had all been drained of blood and not a drop was found at the scenes, until now. Why was this one different? Who was Marie? Why would she not give up the name of her accomplice? Michael questioned, cajoled, bribed, Marie to tell the truth but her story was just too outrageous yet, intriguing. The case would soon be out of his hands and to a prosecutor who wanted nothing more than to see Marie all the way to the electric chair.
I was as surprised at the revelations from Marie as I was what she didn’t reveal. It was a well-written story and demonstrated the tendency of humans to believe what they want to believe in spite of evidence or lack thereof. Kendare Blake brought elements of a couple of true crime cases into her story, spree killers Charles Starkweather 19 and Caril Ann Fugate 14, and the murders of the Clutter family. Both left bodies and broken families in their wake which lends a frightening authenticity to her tale. If you’re a fan of murder mysteries, this is a must-read!