Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan
Narrator: Amy McFadden
Published by Harlequin Audio, HarperAudio on December 28, 2021
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Length: 11 hours, 30 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
A popular sorority girl. An unsolved murder. A campus podcast with chilling repercussions.
Lucas Vega is obsessed with the death of Candace Swain, who left a sorority party one night and never came back. Her body was found after two weeks, but the case has grown cold. Three years later while interning at the medical examiner's, Lucas discovers new information, but the police are not interested.
Lucas knows he has several credible pieces of the puzzle. He just isn't sure how they fit together. So he creates a podcast to revisit Candace's last hours. Then he encourages listeners to crowdsource what they remember and invites guest lecturer Regan Merritt, a former US marshal, to come on and share her expertise.
New tips come in that convince Lucas and Regan they are onto something. Then shockingly one of the podcast callers turns up dead. Another hints at Candace's secret life...a much darker picture than Lucas imagined - and one that implicates other sorority sisters. Regan uses her own resources to bolster their theory and learns that Lucas is hiding his own secret. The pressure is on to solve the murder, but first Lucas must come clean about his real motives in pursuing this podcast - before the killer silences him forever.
I am a fan of Allison Brennan and knew I wanted The Sorority Murder as soon as I heard about it. The main characters are very well developed and I liked and understood them. They had their own flaws but were mostly good people. The “villain” was less well developed which made the character easy to dislike. Some of the other supporting characters were well enough developed to feel realistic with their personal attitudes and foibles.
There is a interspliced narrative of Candace who is the murdered sorority girl, in flashbacks and in entries from her journal which show who she is and eventually why she was killed. It is extremely sad she was killed for basically wanting to do the right thing. The murder happened when Lucas was a freshman and he is a senior now, so three years ago.
Lucas is the driver of the whole story. I won’t spoil why as that unfolds throughout the book. He is a criminal forensics major and is doing a podcast about the murder as a final project. I love this idea and it made the book very fun. He did a great job of organizing the data, asking good questions and drawing people in to provide more information. I sort of wish the podcast had been a bit more of the focus. Lucas spent much of his time investigating and following up leads while not doing the podcast. He was successful in learning much more about the murder, but also put himself in the crosshairs of the killer.
There were the well-developed characters, the fun podcast, the intelligent dedicated investigation, the suspense of wondering what really happened, fearing for favored characters in the past and present, and exciting action. I really loved reading and highly recommend it.
I know this narrator’s name and would have sworn I have listened to her before but it seems I haven’t. I was comfortable with her performance of both male and female voices. She did distinguish between the voices and her natural voice felt closest to Regan. Her voice for Lucas felt just a little bit young. Of course, all the characters are young to me. I listened at my usual at 1.5x speed.
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