Saturday, September 10, 2022

Review: Murder by the Shore by Gretta Mulrooney

by Gretta Mulrooney
Release Date: May 19, 2022
2022 Joffe Books
Kindle Edition; 304 Pages
ISBN: 978-1804052341
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.75 / 5 Stars

Welcome to Seascape house.
A beautiful family home by the coast. Where someone is hiding a terrible secret.

Lyra Pullman has been waiting for this day. Her fourth birthday party. But when her guests come knocking, she is nowhere to be found.

Little Lyra lies dead in the Wendy house at the bottom of the garden. Suffocated.

Her grandad couldn’t save her because he’s been murdered too. In a mess of blood and rainbow cake.

My Thoughts
Murder by the Shore is the fourth book in the D.I. Siv Drummond mystery series, and while extremely well-writen as well as interesting, the denouement just didn't seem to fit in the spirit of the overall story, as if the author was really looking for reasons for why someone would act as they did.  I mean, the person killed a child, so it had to be believable and for me, it didn't quite work.
I enjoyed the characters in this book and thought they were all interesting. DI Siv Drummond is my favourite character and she really carries the reader through the book as you learn a lot of the secrets, twists and turns, through her narrative. Though still dealing with her grief at the loss of her husband, she is attempting to enter the dating market again, something I find interesting as I can't even imagine having to do something like that after having been married for so long.  Siv is not an easy character to get to know, but I definitely empathized with her need to be alone and to experience that feeling of isolation, she is still grieving after all.  
The other characters were well-written as well, but the parents do seem somewhat stereotypical in nature, with the dad coming across as this unfeeling, self-absorbed person, and the mother coming across as a bundle of nerves with something to hide.  While well-written and interesting, there wasn't a lot of depth to them.  I was fascinated by the sisters' relationship as well and thought the author could have developed that a bit more.
The plot moved quite quickly, with some interesting twists and turns, some of them predictable. Personally, it didn't take long to figure out why the dad was so distant although I did think his reaction was a bit extreme.  I thought the author did a good job peeling away the layers of the story to reveal the information as the investigation progressed in such a way that allowed the reader to figure things out rather than lead the reader along. I hate being spoon-fed information and prefer to figure things out so this was more to my style.  I also appreciated the descriptions of the area as it seems like a beautiful location.  
Murder by the Shore was an interesting murder mystery, full of twists and turns, even if some of them were predictable.  With a host of intriguing characters, especially the DI, it made the reading experience that much more fun. I did have a problem with the actual mystery, in particular the ending, as I thought it was a bit far-fetched and didn't seem to match the overall spirit of the story and the characters, but it did make me think how past actions can affect future ones.  This can be read as a standalone, but I do recommend reading the previous instalments to get background information on DI Drummond.