The Book of Cold Cases; Simone St. James
Penguin Audio - 10 hours 44 min.
(Narrators: Brittney Pressley, Kirsten Potter and Robert Petkoff - very good)
Shea Collins is a young woman who works in medical office by day and maintains a true crime blog, The Book of Cold Cases, in her free time. She tries to get tips on unsolved cases the authorities are no longer actively pursuing. One day at her office job she recognizes Beth Greer, a woman linked to, but acquitted of, (2) separate 1977 unsolved murders. Both victims were men and were shot by a woman who left a note. The gun used, coincidentally, was the same type of gun that killed Beth's father years earlier. Beth has kept a low profile at the family Oregon mansion ever since she was acquitted of what has been called the Lady Killer Murders.
Shea pursues Beth in the hopes of getting a brief interview and surprisingly, Beth eventually agrees to meet with her at the Greer mansion. The meetings are uncomfortable to say the least and it seems clear that there is at least 1-2 ghostly beings that are not happy about what is going on.
The characters were interesting enough as both Shea and Beth have a good deal of baggage which gets uncovered. Shea has been dealing with trauma from her past and we learn of Beth's troubled childhood as well. The story has a slow build and was satisfying over all. I thought the author did a decent job balancing the serial killer story line while adding a bit of the paranormal as well. Of course my favorite minor character was a cat by the name of Winston Purrchill. I loved the authors previous book: The Sundown Motel which also had a bit of a paranormal element to it. This offering was slightly less thrilling for me but, yet it held my interest and I enjoyed the way the story played out.
Rating - 4/5 stars
Nine Lives; Peter Swanson
William Morrow and Harper Audio - 2022
(Narrators - Jacques Roy and Mark Bramhall - very good - 7 hours 11 min)
Nine Lives was an interesting mystery that involved a rather cryptic list of names. Nine individuals in different parts of the country receive a list of nine names, their name being one of them. At a quick glance none of the individuals seem to know the other people on the list but, it soon becomes clear that someone wants them these people dead. The people on the list are different ages, occupations, sexual orientations and live in different areas of the country. What's the connection or motive? One of the individuals on the list is Jessica Winslow, an FBI Agent from Albany, NY and, she hopes to see this case solved before she ends up as one of the victims.
This isn't a really long book and the story is told from multiple POVs which worked out well; I never found it difficult to follow even when listening on audio after I switched off from the eBook. I felt like the reader is given just enough back story on each of the individuals on the list to keep things interesting before the story moves on to another potential victim. The manner of death varied which kept it interesting as well. Some of the characters were likable while others not so much. In many ways this book reminded me of Agatha Christie's, And Then There Were None except that all of these victims died in very different locales.
Rating - 4/5 stars