The Murder List

You know when you get a book and it turns out to be nothing at all what the synopsis leads you to believe? I hate that.

Hank Phillipi Ryan’s The Murder List is a thriller/suspense book that moves along at a fast pace but misses the key development to bring it all together at the end.

Rachel North is a law student who’s accepted an internship with the local district attorney’s office to learn the ins and outs of prosecution. The only problem is that Jack, Rachel’s husband, is a defense attorney whose mortal enemy is now Rachel’s boss. But what no one knows just yet is that Rachel’s past is more than what it seems, and it’s about to catch up with her.

The book is full of characters who have outwardly committed to justice, through their profession, but definitely appear to care so much more about winning cases, which makes them difficult to like– especially when their words and behaviors are questionable otherwise. Rachel’s character is alternately weak and projecting onto others, then coming into her own for a moment and taking control of her situation. Unfortunately, I don’t think Ryan did an adequate job of making her breadcrumb trail to lead careful readers to her conclusion. Though not a particularly surprising conclusion, as something of a connoisseur of psychological thrillers myself, I wanted more. I wanted to reach the end and suddenly have all these details stand out in my mind that were hints to what happened.

That said, the book does draw you in. And though I didn’t quite care for it, many thriller lovers certainly will. Ryan does a good job at weaving the past and present together to create a twisty plot with plenty to guess and wonder about.

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