The Murder List
When Mary receives a blank diary as a present, she thinks nothing of it. Until she opens the diary, and sees it’s not blank after all…
1st January MURDER LISA, OXFORD
1st February MURDER JANE, BIRMINGHAM
1st March MURDER DAVID, CARDIFF
1st April MURDER MARY, CHELTENHAM
Is this some kind of sick joke? But…it’s the end of January now. And a woman named Lisa was murdered in Oxford on 1st January.
Does that mean there really is a killer out there, planning to commit a new murder on the first of each month? And is the Mary due to be killed on 1st April her?
The clock is ticking for Mary to uncover the truth, before she becomes the next victim on the killer’s list…
Jackie Kabler is an internationally bestselling author of psychological thrillers including The Perfect Couple, Am I Guilty? and The Happy Family. She worked as a newspaper reporter and then in television news for twenty years, including nearly a decade on GMTV. She later appeared on BBC and ITV news, presented a property show for Sky, hosted sports shows on Setanta Sports News and worked as a media trainer for the Armed Forces. She now combines her crime writing with her job as a presenter on shopping channel QVC. Jackie lives in Gloucestershire with her husband.
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Mary Ellis is a journalist / crime writer who prefers to work from rented office space – The Hub – with other self employed people. Her father was a famous crime novelist who died in a house fire that also killed Mary’s best friend, and left Mary scarred both mentally and physically, although thanks to her grandmother she has received the best care to heal her wounds.
The story begins with the Christmas holidays about to begin and Mary is home with her best friend and housemate, Pete Chong. After New Year, Mary begins the task of clearing out things for the charity shop and finds an unopened gift she’d been given – a diary – which she assumes came from one of the publishing companies she works with. She looks for a sign as to who it is from and finds the disturbing reference to the murder of someone called Lisa in Oxford on Jan 1st. The date has already passed, and to make it more disturbing the TV news is covering the murder of a woman named Lisa on New Year’s Day in the city of Oxford. Further entries – each a month apart – suggest more victims, including one called Mary on Apr 1st in Cheltenham – where she now lives.
She has to tell the police. Will they take her seriously? Might they even suspect her?
Well, the answers are in the book …
The premise of this pulled me right in and it was compelling reading throughout.
What if Mary hadn’t read the diary before she planned to donate it to the charity shop? There were so many ways in which this story could have collapsed and not been as twisted or surprising as it was, yet the author had it all under control, even throwing out spurious red herrings like confetti. But, boy, was it engaging and hugely addictive. No wonder so many characters came under suspicion. As a reader, I formed an opinion early on, but my ideas were soon quashed when along came Mary’s big secret – could she really use it to thwart the killer come April 1st? It was difficult to imagine how that scene would unfurl, but it did … and it was completely out of the blue. Kudos to Ms Kabler for a fabulously suspenseful read.
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