Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of Written in Blood in exchange for my honest review.
A small town in North Carolina has its first murder in more than a decade. The owner of the local bookstore has been found murdered in his home. Detective Joe “Preach” Everson, recently returned to his hometown, sets out to solve the case. However, things quickly escalate into serial killings, all with one thing in common: each crime scene replicates a famous murder scene in a classic literary novel such as Crime and Punishment and a short story by Edgar Allen Poe. With the help of his assistant Detective Kirby as well as Ari, an employee from the bookstore of the first victim, Preach begins investigating the local writing community in the town to find a link within the literary references and hopefully stop any future killings.
I’ll be honest: I wasn’t sure whether or not I would like this book. I thought the bibliophile angle sounded interesting but I also feared that it might get…well…a little cheesy. But I was pleasantly surprised and ended up enjoying this book very much and found it hard to put down. There aren’t too many graphic descriptions, most are just alluded to, which I find tactful. I also enjoyed getting to know the characters as they developed throughout the novel. The first few pages I felt like there was some unnatural dialogue and interactions between characters, which is something I really don’t like, but it quickly changed direction. I felt like Green gave just enough backstory to his lead detective to build up his dynamic but did not spend page after page describing him or his past. Overall, I feel like there was an almost perfect balance of plot, mystery, clues, characters, and backstory. I liked the ending but my only criticism (mild spoiler alert) is that I don’t feel enough evidence was provided to the reader to be able to suspect the murderer throughout the course of the novel, and for that I take off half a star. I rate Written in Blood 4.5/5 stars. Strong, traditional mystery!