Review: Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman @mastermanbecky

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Release date: March 12, 2013

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


You have never met an (ex) FBI agent like Brigid Quinn

“Keeping secrets, telling lies, they require the same skill. Both become a habit, almost an addiction, that’s hard to break even with the people closest to you, out of the business. For example, they say never trust a woman who tells you her age; if she can’t keep that secret, she can’t keep yours. I’m fifty-nine.”

Brigid Quinn’s experiences in hunting sexual predators for the FBI have left her with memories she wishes she didn’t have and lethal skills she hopes never to need again. Having been pushed into early retirement by events she thinks she’s put firmly behind her, Brigid keeps telling herself she is settling down nicely in Tucson with a wonderful new husband, Carlo, and their dogs.

But the past intervenes when a man named Floyd Lynch confesses to the worst unsolved case of Brigid’s career—the disappearance and presumed murder of her young protégée, Jessica. Floyd knows things about that terrible night that were never made public, and offers to lead the cops to Jessica’s body in return for a plea bargain.

It should finally be the end of a dark chapter in Brigid’s life. Except…the new FBI agent on the case, Laura Coleman, thinks the confession is fake, and Brigid finds she cannot walk away from violence and retribution after all, no matter what the cost.

With a fiercely original and compelling voice, Becky Masterman’s Rage Against the Dying marks the heart-stopping debut of a brilliant new thriller writer. 


I’m way late to this series, but one of the advantages to this is that I don’t have to wait for a new book to be released! When Chelsea at The Suspense is Thrilling Me asked if I had read Becky Masterman and I said no, she was sweet enough to send me the first two books. Then I recently received the third from the publisher and figured it was about time I started reading about Brigid Quinn. I’ve been hopping into a lot of new to me series in the middle, but I’m so glad I started at the beginning as this was such a fantastic read. 

Brigid is one of the most interesting and original protagonists that I’ve come across in a long time. She has such a multifaceted personality, there are so many layers to peel back to find out who she truly is inside, but what Masterman revealed in this series opener was a woman who is tough, determined, sharp, raw, and wholly relatable. She was also really quirky and when she’s uncomfortable or just trying to dodge a pointed question she deflects with black humor, I love that characteristic. Having a more mature woman as the lead in a crime series is clever and I really appreciated it. 

Brigid is a retired FBI agent living in Tucson, Arizona and reading a novel set in a familiar place was really fun. Masterman captured the rugged beauty of my home state perfectly and being able to recall places I’ve been to myself was fun! The fact that Brigid is no longer employed by the FBI made for some tricky investigative maneuvers on her part which added another breath of fresh air to this already highly original story. 

This was pretty violent and graphic, think Karin Slaughter in terms of the visual descriptions. The writing is fluid and Brigid narrates in a very conversational style that makes you feel like you’re chatting with an old friend. The plot twists were unexpected and I devoured this in a few hours, it was that gripping. I’m really glad I decided to binge this series straight through as I’m dying to know what happens next. 

Overall rating: 5/5

21 thoughts on “Review: Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman @mastermanbecky

    • novelgossip says:

      Oh yes you should! I’m reading book three now and it’s an excellent series. I really like having a more mature woman as the protagonist and she’s quite the character. I’ll be interested to see what you think. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Renee (Itsbooktalk) says:

    I absolutely have no time for another series but your review has made me think I’d really like this one! I just picked up Triptych at the library because I’m feeling like I’m missing something amazing since you, Annie and Chelsea all love that series…so here’s a tough question for you…which series should I start first??😜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    I have been getting the mystery/thriller itch lately. Brigid sounds very interesting as a MC. I may have to keep this series in mind! I am working on Six Stories at the moment and just finished Sister Sister. Not sure how long I will stay on this kick haha. Love the review Amy ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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