Today I am taking part in the blog tour and sharing my review for The Library Murders by M.R. Mackenzie. This was released on the 20th of August published by Mad House.
The Library Murders by M.R. Mackenzie
Release Date: 20th of August 2020
Print Length: 306 pages
Genre: Crime Mystery
Publisher: Mad House
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Alyssa Clark is about to find out that reading really can be murder.
She thought her new job in Thornhill Library would be safe and uneventful. Boring, even. But on her first day at work, a masked gunman storms into the building and blows away every member of staff on duty. Alyssa barely escapes with her life.
The police are satisfied they’ve got their man, but Davy, Alyssa’s colleague and the only other survivor of the massacre, is convinced the real killer is still at large. Alyssa – trying to move on with her life while dealing with traumatic flashbacks and the unwanted advances of an obsessive ex – is sceptical. However, when she stumbles across damning evidence of a cover-up, she agrees to join forces with Davy to help track down the real culprit.
But in her pursuit of the truth, will she find the closure she desperately craves… or provoke the wrath of a killer with unfinished business on his mind?
If you like twists, turns and compelling, conflicted characters, you’ll love this gripping new mystery from the McIlvanney Prize-nominated author of In the Silence.
What drew me towards this book instantly when I was offered the opportunity to read an advanced copy, was its hook “Alyssa Clark is about to find out that reading really can be murder” It really sucked me in completely and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in and find out more!
The Library Murders kicks things off literally with a bang for Alyssa Clark when on her first day at her new job at the Thornhill Library, sees a gunman storm the premises and shoot dead the majority of the staff assembled on that day, leaving Alyssa unscathed and another staff member, Davy seriously injured but who does recover from these injuries.
The police think it is a slam dunk and believe they have the killer, but Davy is not at all convinced and gets a reluctant Alyssa, who is trying to put the incident behind her, to join forces with him to seek out the real killer. But the closer they get to the truth, the more they put themselves in danger!
I found the shooting to be harrowing and confronting which is perfectly understandable, but I found the first chapter in the lead up to it cleverly done, with a countdown at the start and there after every few paragraphs, as the minutes ticked down. The suspense and anticipation that Michael builds up over the course of that first chapter had my heart racing so fast for what was to come.
Michael doesn’t gloss over any of the details as the second chapter kicks off three minutes after the shooting, which makes the story believable and very compelling. I also thought he did a fantastic job after the fact with how he dealt with Alyssa’s trauma which was done with sensitivity as well as realistically.
I had mixed feelings for the characters and there was some I connected with more than others. Alyssa for me at the start did have me struggling to resonate with her, but I did have a lot of empathy towards her with what she went through. Over the course of the story though, Michael does nurture her and she became a lot more likeable. Davy on the other hand, had me under his spell and for me, steals the show!
This is the first book I have read from Michael and I was really impressed with this story and its execution. In my opinion, it really does play out like a movie, that was all the more evident when I read after the fact, that Michael has a PhD in Film Studies and in addition to being an author, is also a Blu-ray and DVD producer. It is always good to have your opinion validated by an expert!
The Library Murders is a great read and I will now be on the lookout for future books from Michael. Make sure you also take the opportunity offered for a free exclusive tie-in novella, The Library Murders: Origin which Michaels says “recounts the weeks leading up the events of the novel from the point of view of the killer, giving further insight into why he did what he did.” This can be accessed here.
This review will be added to, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Amazon Australia & Amazon US. I will also add to NetGalley, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play, Barnes & Noble & Waterstones if available. As I am from Australia, I am unable to add to Amazon UK.
The Library Murders Blog Tour
Follow the tour along the way and see what these bloggers also thought about The Library Murders.
Thank you to Heather Fitt from Overview Media for my spot on The Library Murders blog tour and for providing me with a complimentary copy of the ebook which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Let’s Get to Know M.R. Mackenzie
M.R. Mackenzie was born and lives in Glasgow, Scotland. He studied at Glasgow University and has an MA in English and a PhD in Film Studies.
In addition to writing, he works as a Blu-ray/DVD producer and has overseen releases of films by a number of acclaimed directors, among them Dario Argento, Joe Dante, Hideo Nakata and Jacques Tourneur. Writing as Michael Mackenzie, he has contributed chapters to books on cult cinema and regularly provides video essays and liner notes for new releases of celebrated films. He used to work in a library, before leaving to spend more time with books.
In 2019, his first novel, In the Silence, was shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year and longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize.
Stay up to date with M.R. Mackenzie’s work, by signing up to the mailing list on his website and following him on these social media accounts.