BOOK STEW REVIEW: ‘Nine Lives’ by Peter Swanson

Below is the latest Book Stew Review from Eileen MacDougall, host of the long-running Book Stew, a video and podcast devoted to writing in all forms, authors, playwrights, and even a cat who survived a tornado and wrote a book about it.

Nine Lives by Peter Swanson

Peter Swanson always comes through with a plot that drags into the reader immediately into the murderous actions of the featured killer.

This time, it’s an Agatha Christie-type setup, with nine seemingly random names on a printed list, which is mailed to each. One is an FBI agent and the rest are seemingly a random sampling of middle class people in their 30s, with the exception of two older men in their 70s.

As they get killed off one by one, a Black police officer in Kennewick, Maine, the site of the first murder, the deliberate drowning of the owner of a run-down coastal motel, finds himself trying to determine the linkages.

He’s a bit superfluous as the killings pile up and the reader is still left in the dark. As usual, Swanson throws in a nifty twist, this time as a coda.

Thoroughly enjoyable and his ability to disguise the killer, as per his other mysteries, continues fairly unabated.

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