Monday, June 5, 2017


Perdition by R. Jean Reid
Midnight Ink: 6/8/17
eBook review copy; 360 pages
ISBN-13: 9780738750651
Nell McGraw Series #2

Perdition by R. Jean Reid is a highly recommended mystery.

Recently widowed Nell McGraw has decided to stay in the small Gulf town with her two children and continue to run the weekly paper, the Pelican Bay Crier, founded by her husband's grandfather. Not that it's all that easy when long-time Sheriff Hickson and relatively new Police Chief Shaun can't seem to get along or cooperate with each other. First a young girl is murdered and then a young boy. Is there a serial killer on the loose in this small Mississippi town and can law enforcement manage to cooperate with each other long enough to find the killer.

As a journalist, Nell needs to keep digging and asking questions to try and get as much information as she can. To make things worse, the killer has taken to calling Nell late at night, disguising his voice, to tell her where the bodies are or just to taunt her. To further her stress, Nell has one great cub reporter and one worthless one, and the sexist bully in the police department who threatens Nell got his charges dropped due to his father's connections. Adding to everything is the fact that keeping track of her teen children is now her sole responsibility.

The writing is very good and Reid keeps the reader guessing about the identity of the killer. Sensitive readers should note that the prologue in Perdition is very graphic, albeit a good hook to keep you reading. It takes place in the past and the reader is left wondering how it fits into the present mystery.  The beginning of the novel moves at a fast pace but then the action/pace seems to slow down after that. Even though this a second book in the series, you needn't read the first book to enjoy this one.

I did have a few minor issues with Perdition. Nell should have just fired Carrie. If an employee constantly whines about doing her job to her boss and is incompetent at her job, then it is time for her to move on to something else. There is no reason Nell should have kept her around. Also many of the interactions with her kids, especially her daughter, became annoying. She tends to alternately  worry about both of them obsessively, anticipate her daughter's poor reactions, or forgets them completely. Perhaps the constant driving her kids around is realistic, but mentioning it so much became tiring and seemed out of place in the small town setting where her kids would both be riding bikes or walking to/from school. And since everyone in town knows there might be a killer on the loose, other people would likely help pick them up and drop them off.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of the publisher/author.

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