Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Murder in the Family

Murder in the Family by Cara Hunter
9/19/23; 480 pages

Murder in the Family by Cara Hunter is a highly recommended murder mystery presented in a unique format.

The murder of Luke Ryder in December 2003 was never solved. Ryder was the stepfather of filmmaker Guy Howard, who was 10 at the time of the murder. Guy and his two sisters were home when the body was found in the garden of their suburban family home. This was a high profile crime and true crime fans have sought clues to solve it for years. Guy Howard is now using his television series Infamous to solve this case involving his family. There is a panel of six experts, biographies with photos included, that are introduced and start looking at the evidence.

This thriller is written like a teleplay of a true crime documentary.  The text includes photos, maps, coroner's reports, newspaper articles, emails, text messages, and voicemail. Readers can follow along, review the evidence and testimony, and try to piece together what happened along with the experts on the show.

This is a rather fun, unique format for a novel and is entertaining at the start. Now, keep in mind that I know someone who will love and adore everything about this format, however, two important points need to be made for those considering the novel. First, you really have to enjoy the format of reading a teleplay script, along with all the other evidence. There is no "standard" novel/story with the other things mixed in. The novel consists of the teleplay transcript. Second, it becomes tedious reading everything digitally after awhile and I'd get a hardcover copy. (I am getting a hardcover copy for the person I know who will love the novel, especially  the format.)

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins via Edelweiss.

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