Saturday, April 13, 2024

Next of Kin

Next of Kin by Samantha Jayne Allen
4/23/24; 336 pages
Minotaur Books
Annie McIntyre #3

Next of Kin by Samantha Jayne Allen brings back newly-licensed private investigator Annie McIntyre, 26, from Garnett, TX. In this highly recommended mystery she accepts a case helping someone find his biological parents, but it soon turns into much more.

Annie and her boyfriend, Wyatt, attend a prenuptial party for her cousin Nikki and her fiance Sonny Marshall. Annie is the maid of honor. The party is being given by Sonny's best man and adopted brother, Clint Marshall, a talented up-and-coming musician. After the party Clint comes in to hire Annie to find his biological family. He was adopted at age 4 and has some memories from his past. She quickly discovers that his father is a bank robber serving time and that he has a brother, sister and mother. 

Annie meets his brother, Cody. Soon after that, Cody is found dead and Clint disappears. Annie doubts the official verdict concerning Cody's death and wonders if it was a homicide. In this small town setting everyone seems to know everyone else as Annie sets off on her own dangerous investigation with some help from former county sheriff and her grandfather, Leroy, 85, and his former deputy, Mary-Pat Zimmerman.

This is a well-written, carefully plotted PI novel. The characters were portrayed as realistic, well-developed characters. The small Texas town setting adds an interesting atmosphere to the narrative as well as plenty of connections between characters.

It does start a bit slowly, taking time to work up some speed, but once it gets moving the pages will fly by. As my first Annie McIntyre, Next of Kin worked as a standalone. The ending absolutely surprised me. Thanks to  Minotaur Books for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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