Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Review: The Next to Die by Sophie Hannah

Sophie Hannah has taken a break between Hercule Poirot novels to write a new installment to her own series and Kerry Hammond is here with her review.

The Next to Die by Sophie Hannah was released on February 19, in Hardcover by William Morrow. Hannah’s books are always entertaining and I look forward to each new release to see where the author will take me. The Next to Die is the 10th in the Spilling CID series, or the Waterhouse and Zailer series, depending on your preference. However you spin it, Simon and Charlie are married police officers who work for the Spilling police department, handling some of the most psychologically twisted cases you can imagine.

In their latest escapade, they are searching for a murderer that the police have dubbed “Billy Dead Mates.” Billy appears to be targeting pairs of best friends, killing them with a gunshot to the head. Before he kills them, he gives them a little white book that contains several blank pages and a line from a poem. Enter stand-up comedienne Kim Tribbeck; she has received a little white book but she hasn’t been murdered. To make the case even more confusing, Kim claims to have never had, nor wanted, a best friend.

Hannah’s stories are wildly imaginative; the plots she dreams up are like nothing you’ve ever read. They’re strange, creative, and highly addictive. Per her usual, she intersperses emails, additional stories, articles, and other bits and pieces of real life in the story. You have to pay close attention as you start her books because she is going to immediately throw quite a bit of information your way—in various forms—and you have to digest it as you go. Stay strong, it’s worth it.

I can’t remember the last time I read a book and tried so hard to solve the case. Simon Waterhouse solved it, why can’t I? But as I turned the pages and tried to follow his logic, I was just as clueless as his colleagues. I didn’t get there in the end, until all was revealed, but as hard as I tried to solve the mystery, I really do like it better when I can’t. I’d much rather have a surprise ending.

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review was fair and completely independent.

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