‘Come Join The Murder’ by Holly Rae Garcia – Review

*Disclaimer – I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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She reminded herself to breathe. They had to be somewhere safe. Oliver was with Jon who would move heaven and earth to make sure he was safe. But that didn’t explain where Jon was… or why they hadn’t called. Or why they weren’t there when AAA showed up. 

Or who was in that van. 

“Mrs. Crow? I’m hanging up now. Have a good day and please remember to call us if you need help again in the future.” 

She stared at the phone’s blank scree, unsure when the woman had hung up. The police: they would know what to do. Rebecca dialed 911 then hung up before it could ring. Was she over-reacting? Would they laugh at her and tell her to be patient? Was she supposed to wait twenty-four or forty-eight hours before calling the? They were okay. They would walk through the door any minute with a bag of burgers. They’d sit around the table and laugh about their adventure while eating and everything would be fine. Still, it was odd. 

She dialed 911 again, and told herself everything would be okay. 

 

Synopsis –

Rebecca Crow’s four-year-old son is dead, and her husband is missing.

Divers find her husband’s car at the bottom of a canal with their son’s small, lifeless body, inside. The police have no suspects and nothing to go on but a passing mention of a man driving a van. Guilt and grief cloud Rebecca’s thoughts as she stumbles towards her only mission: Revenge.

James Porter knows exactly what happened to them, but he’ll do anything to keep it a secret.

James didn’t plan to kill Rebecca’s son, but he’s not too broken up about it, either. There are more important things for him to worry about. He needs money, and his increasing appetite for murder is catching the attention of a nosy detective.

 

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Thoughts –

Come Join the Murder is a story of grief and violence, justice and vengeance. Following Rebecca Crow, a mother and wife who has had her family cruelly stolen from her, the reader is taken on a journey of desperation and regret. As Rebecca tries to piece together the clues as to how her son drowned and where her husband disappeared to, she has to take a long hard look at her inattention as a wife, and putting her career before her son, all of which is too late to rectify.

The grief that Rebecca goes through is painfully relatable for anyone who has suddenly lost a loved one, and though the actions she takes to find out the truth and seek justice for her family are far from within the law, you find yourself rooting for her – at least to find the right man who did it.

But we also follow the story of James, a career criminal who loves his mother and not much else. James killed Rebecca’s husband and son for a few bucks and only feels regret that it wasn’t more. In contrast to Rebecca he kills with little rhyme or reason, other than knowing that he can, the ripples of pain from his crimes spreading farther and wider than he could have ever imagined.

 

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Come Join the Murder has you sucked in from the get go. A shocking story of grief and violence where in the end, no one wins.

 

About the Author –

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Holly Rae Garcia loves the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Daniel Keyes, Richard Matheson, and Stephen King. Dark stories with sad endings are her jam. In her own writing, she leans toward the thriller, horror, sci-fi, and dystopian genres. She lives on the Texas Coast with her family and three dogs.

More information can be found on my website: www.HollyRaeGarcia.com

 

Read and Review –

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Amazon.co.uk

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‘True Crime’ by Samantha Kolesnik – Review

If you’d like to take a look at my Booktube video review, you can find it here.

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I pulled up the piece of loose siding and slid out my best copy of True Crime. The pages, thin as newspaper, were gritty with dirt. I flipped to my favorite photo of a blonde murder victim from a few decades ago. The black ink had worn gray from my repeated touch. My obsessive fingers threatened to wipe away the entire page if given enough time. 

The blonde in the photo had been babysitting when a man broke into the house and strangled her with an appliance cord. The photo left little to imagination and aroused an excitement in me – something similar, I imagined, to a young boy seeing his first centerfold. The blonde’s lip was busted and her face was swollen. Her cheeks bulged unnaturally. The only living part was her hair, which fanned out around her head in a wild mess of blonde tangle. 

My brother, Lim, said I was sick. He said only sick people look at magazines like the one I held in my hands. I knew he was right; it wasn’t normal. 

The babysitter photo was the first time I’d seen a dead woman in the full. Usually True Crime cropped out the details. It’s show a pair of clogs and white socks drawn up over pale calves. It’s show legs splayed apart with just a tease of blood. There might be a hand flung out from behind the couch with a few bullet casings in the foreground. 

There was no propriety with the babysitter, though. She was gold. 

I didn’t get a sexual thrill from looking at her. There was nothing climactic or conclusive about my obsession with her corpse. It just felt good. 

When I had first seen the photo, I hadn’t been able to look away for a long while. I had strained to scan every last detail of her into my memory. Th recollection of it had become a prayer I could recount at times when my mind strained to escape Mama’s very real and present hands. 

Sometimes it helped if I imagined the scene in the photo from the man’s point of view. I would try to feel the relief the man must have felt as he pulled on that cord around the blonde’s tender neck. I imagined it must’ve been quite a bit of work to take away a woman’s youth like that. 

I put True Crime down and started across the street.

 

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Synopsis –

Suzy and her brother, Lim, live with their abusive mother in a town where the stars don’t shine at night. Once the abuse becomes too much to handle, the two siblings embark on a sordid cross-country murder spree beginning with their mom. As the murder tally rises, Suzy’s mental state spirals into irredeemable madness.

 

Thoughts –

Taken on the journey of a traumatized young girl and her protective brother as they attempt to navigate through a world that wants to continue to victimize them, any reader will find this a tense read to get through. With strong themes of misogyny, abuse, and violence, True Crime is a brutal look at the mind of a young girl trying and failing to come to grips with the trauma that she has endured at the hands of her mother. Brutalized from a young age, Suzy struggles to bring together her desire to do good and treat people better, and her natural reflexes of violence and defensiveness. A story for women written by a woman, True Crime takes a closer look at the self-shame and self-hatred of a victim of sexual abuse, and the conflicting emotions that come with being mistreated by those tasked with taking care of you.

The violence of the story is inexcusable and yet it is impossible to feel for Suzy and even her brother, impossible not to root for their salvaged futures and hope for a light at the end of the tunnel. A grimy, gritty, and unforgettable novel, True Crime is a story that needed to be told.

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For a debut novel, True Crime is a stunning horror debut from Kolesnik, an already seasoned story teller. With writing that creeps under the skin and sticks in the mind, this is a novel that is unique in it’s perspective and delivery and one that holds you until the very last word.

 

 

About the Author –

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Samantha Kolesnik is an award-winning writer and film director living in central Pennsylvania. Her screenplays and short films have been recognized at top genre film festivals and her fiction has appeared in notable literary magazines including The Bitter Oleander, The William and Mary Review, and Barnstorm. She is one of the co-founders of the Women in Horror Film Festival. True Crime is her first novel.

 

Read and Review –

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Goodreads.com

 

What is your favourite debut novel? Do you have to like an authors first novel to even consider picking up the second? What do you think about teen murderers in fiction?