by Nikki Crutchley
It was with great anticipation that I began reading another Miller Hatcher novel. Having read a previous book featuring Miller, I was looking forward to reconnecting with her and the next phase in her life. I was not disappointed, this is a great read, that is easy to follow with plenty of false leads and suspects with a surprising conclusion.
A murder mystery novel suitable for readers of 18+ years, as it does feature some violence, the odd swear word and damaged personalities.
We meet Miller Hatcher as she is picking up the pieces of her life as an investigative journalist after a disastrous reporting event in her previous hometown. She has moved to her deceased mother's house in a much smaller location and secured a job with the local paper, which is not without some office rivalry and jealousy. Miller receives an anonymous letter one day, saying “Tonight's the Night”. Miller ignores it but then a woman is found murdered in her home, strangled – with a scarf left around her neck. The letters keep coming and the murders keep happening.
A local girl, Cassie Hughes, has, for many years, been trying to find the person who murdered her mother. She is fixated on one name and after meeting Miller, asks her to report on the cold case to spark interest again and maybe uncover the murderer. Cassie is in a rather controlling relationship and the author shows how these relationships can continue despite ill treatment of one party.
Logan Dodds is introduced to the story and he is obsessed with true crime since his sister was murdered 30 years ago. Logan is a creepy character with a unhealthy fixation on murders, forming his new venture “The True Crime Enthusiasts Club”.
Miller Hatcher struggles with her own personal demons, but these flaws make her more sympathetic to those who have been affected by traumatic events in their lives, murder being one of them.
The author describes the town, people and events very well, with shady characters and one desperate for infamous attention. The reader is never quite sure who the perpetrator is and the book leads to a surprising finale.
Miller Hatcher is fortunate to have an ally in the Police Force, Kahu Parata, who also has his own personal tragedy to cope with.
The story highlights that events in a person's childhood can lead to a flawed adult, and how some relationships can be destructive.
This is a good “whodunnit” story and makes you wonder what secrets a small town can hide!
I look forward to the next episode in Miller Hatcher’s life.
Author: Nikki Crutchley
Publisher: Oak House Press
Available: Amazon, order from your local bookshop or www.nikkicrutchley.com