Friday, July 7, 2023

With a Kiss We Die

With a Kiss We Die by L. R. Dorn
7/11/23; 336 pages
William Morrow

With a Kiss We Die by L. R. Dorn is a very highly recommended investigative mystery/thriller presented in the format of the dialogue/script from a true-crime podcast.

Ryanna Raines is an investigative journalist and the host of The Raines Report, a popular true-crime podcast. Jordan De Carlo and Victoria Berne are both theater majors at UC Santa Barbara and also murder suspects. The two are suspects in the violent, brutal murder of Jordan's parents in their multi-million-dollar estate in Southern California. Jordan and Victoria left the country and have been in Mexico for a month.

Now they are coming back and have contacted Ryanna. They want to share their side of the story before their arrest and indictment. Ryanna will have an exclusive inside look into their stories and will be able to record what Jordan and Victoria say for her podcast. She and her producer decide to proceed, which places Ryanna closer to a breaking story than is normal for her show and The Raines Report goes viral.

With a Kiss We Die is written like a script for a true-crime podcast that also includes discussions between Ryanna and her producer, contact with her family, and insight into other events happening around her. I liked the format for this novel and thought it added an interesting dimension to the narrative. It allowed new revelations and twists in the plot to be delivered at an even pace. It also introduces readers to Jordan and Victoria as they tell/perform their story to Ryanna.

The plot was very compelling and I was totally immersed in it. There are several clever twists and revelations along the way. Admittedly, what sent my evaluation to my top rating was the fact that my kindle lost its charge right during the final big twists and I had to frantically grab my phone to open the app and finish the novel. Any novel that has me that frantic to know what really happened is worth the bump up to five stars. (L. R. Dorn is the pen name for Matt Dorff and Suzanne Dunn.)

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of William Morrow via Edelweiss.

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