08 June 2024

Review: Novel "Death By Betrayal" by Abigail Keam

 Compelling and bold, this 'Dark and Bloody Ground' won't let go until you're done!

I scored myself an advance copy of Abigail Keam's latest, Death By Betrayal, the next in A Josiah Reynolds Mystery series. I settled down in my recliner with a hot cup of cocoa and took to reading. And trust me when I tell you, it was mesmerizing. Instantly unable to stop reading until I'd gotten to the very last word in the novel, I was hooked.

You remember that line from A Few Good Men -- and a common saying -- "And the hits just keep on coming"? Welcome to Death By Betrayal.

It's Josiah -- of course it starts with a dead body. Finding it in the back of an old barn/shed where she's never set foot in the entire time she's lived there and owned the place. But that's just the beginning. Old haunts, old hurts rapidly rise around her. Nothing seems to go right, and Josiah stands to lose everything she holds dear.

Betrayal is darker than the others with is complex plot and characters with a vendetta. You feel Josiah's helplessness as she is surrounded by it. She comes off darker, herself -- and with good reason. A cascading series of one bad thing after enough begins to color her already pessimistic view of the world. A fiercely proud woman who will do it on her own two feet or not at all. And I had to know how she was going to do it. 

Ms. Keam has crafted a multi-layered plot that won't lose you in the telling. There are so many twists and turns that it might be easy to get lost in them, but the details are never so complex that the telling is complicated. The pacing gives you the time to understand, the story keeps along adding another layer but never losing the previous ones. 

The characters help with that. Matt, Franklin, Eunice, and Lady Elsmere act as our surrogates to help us understand by asking the right questions, eliciting the right answers. They keep us grounded in Josiah's reality and act as her sounding boards to keep her grounded as well. 

Death by Betrayal is currently in preorder status -- at the time of this writing -- but will be out for release on June 24th, 2004. You don't have to read the others to be able to enjoy this book, but I definitely recommend the series as a first rate murder cozy series that even Agatha Christie would recommend. And wish she'd written. A must have, a can't put down type of read.

Five out of five stars!!!

Death by Betrayal can be found at all online booksellers and your local bookseller as well. You can preorder at the following:

Barnes & Noble

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