Thomas & Mercer; 6/16/20
review copy; 316 pages
Northampton County #3
Spring Girls by Karen Katchur is a highly recommended murder mystery/procedural and the third book in the Northampton County series.
Detective Geena Brassard and her partner, Parker Reed, are on the trail of a serial killer, dubbed the "Spring Strangler," whose victims have been given the moniker the "Spring Girls." The killer's victims are always young women who have been strangled, their bodies are left in a body of water, and it happens in the spring. A new victim has been found in a lake in the Appalachian foothills. Geena knows that there was a first victim, one who survived, but her name was kept secret by her former partner, Albert Eugenis, who has now retired. Geena visits with Albert and learns the woman's name is Janey Montgomery. Janey is very reluctant to help and claims she can't remember much from the attack. Although she knows she has information to help the investigation, she also has the most to lose.
This novel features a fast-moving plot and recurring characters. Character development is nominal, but since this is a third book in the series and I have not read the first two, I'm going to assume more development happens in the first two. The first book in the series is River Bodies and the second Cold Woods. Even though Spring Girls is a third installment, it does work as a standalone, especially if you aren't focused on character development and just want to follow the investigation and the clues provided. For me, both the investigation and final big reveal were predictable and a little disappointing. I was especially disappointed in the ending, which is very similar to another novel I read recently. Setting that aside, the investigation itself and the insights into Janey's life and struggles were compelling and held my interest. This is a good choice for escapism reading or those who enjoyed the first two books in the series. 3.5 rounded up
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Thomas & Mercer.