Friday, November 27, 2020

Review: The Third to Die by Allison Brennan

by Allison Brennan
Release Date: February 4th 2020
2020 Mira Books
Hardcover Edition; 460 Pages
ISBN: 978-0778309444
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher
4 / 5 Stars
Detective Kara Quinn, on leave from the LAPD, is on an early morning jog in her hometown of Liberty Lake when she comes upon the body of a young nurse. The manner of death shows a pattern of highly controlled rage. Meanwhile in DC, FBI special agent Mathias Costa is staffing his newly minted Mobile Response Team. Word reaches Matt that the Liberty Lake murder fits the profile of the compulsive Triple Killer. It will be the first case for the MRT. This time they have a chance to stop this zealous if elusive killer before he strikes again. But only if they can figure out who he is and where he is hiding before he disappears for another three years. The stakes are higher than ever before, because if they fail, one of their own will be next...
My Thoughts
The Third to Die is the first book in the Mathias Costa and Kara Quinn thriller series, and while first books can sometimes take awhile to really get momentum going in terms of both character and plot development, I thought the author did a great job with both.  The plot moved quickly enough and characters were introduced in such a way as to make them interesting and you wanted to learn more about them and their backgrounds as only tidbits were given.  I enjoyed this book a lot more than I was expecting.
I really liked he characters and the character development in this book.  Kara is a police officer on leave from the LAPD, an undercover officer, and she doesn't really know what to do with her free time. I should mention she was on a forced leave and was quite frustrated about the whole thing so she often came across as prickly and cool.  I loved her character however, as the author did a great job slowly peeling away the layers of her personality and background so you understood her better.  While cool, she was also very, very, very good at her job. And while you don't learn everything, you do learn enough to pique your interest and want to learn MORE about her.   Having found the body while on a run in the woods, she was asked to help in the investigation as she was quite familiar with the area and the people.  

The FBI had created something called the MRT, the Mobile Response Team, and Matt had been tasked to head the force that would run it. Basically, the unit would travel to smaller towns that didn't have a FBI presence to tackle those investigations where they were needed and have full support at their fingertips.  The team hadn't yet been assembled when Matt was given this murder investigation, so it was interesting to see it all come together throughout the novel as well as meet some of the different players you know are going to feature strongly in future books.  I was very curious about the profiler, Catherine Jones, as there was definitely a history between her and Matt; a story that really needs to be told, like a short story?  Apparently, Catherine's sister was involved with Matt, but died during a previous case. Again, tidbits given, that's all.  It just leaves you wanting to learn more.  

The plot itself was a little on the drawn-out side, but I did enjoy it a lot.  The reason I think it was a little long is the author was setting up some characters and situations for future books so it needed to be that way.  This is much more of a police procedural type of novel, but I really enjoy those and love seeing the steps that police officers and other agents have to take in order to solve a crime.  I find it rather fascinating.  

The Third to Die was a worthy first book to a brand-new series.  While more of a police procedural, it was smartly written with bursts of action and suspense. And while the ending was satisfying, the characters' past lives and situations were not fully developed or explored which leaves a lot of room for the author to flesh them out in future books.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good suspense novel with interesting characters.