Review: River Bodies by Karen Katchur


Release date: November 1, 2018

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


In this dark, gripping mystery, a brutal murder unearths old secrets that should have stayed buried.

A body just turned up in the small town of Portland, Pennsylvania. The crime is eerily similar to a twenty-year-old cold case: another victim, brutally murdered, found in the Delaware River. Lead detective Parker Reed is intent on connecting the two murders, but the locals are on lockdown, revealing nothing.

The past meets the present when Becca Kingsley, who returns to Portland to be with her estranged but dying father, runs into Parker, her childhood love. As the daughter of the former police chief, Becca’s quickly drawn into the case. Coming home has brought something ominous to the surface – memories long buried, secrets best kept hidden. Becca starts questioning all her past relationships, including one with a man who’s watched over her for years. For the first time, she wonders if he’s more predator than protector.

In a small town where darkness hides in plain sight, the truth could change Becca’s life – or end it. 

Sometimes it’s nice to mix things up within a genre, so many times I’m craving a fast paced and exciting thriller with twists and turns galore and then other times I’m in the mood for a really well written slow burn, and River Bodies fits the bill perfectly. It’s funny because the pacing itself wasn’t even slow at all, but the writing style and the way the story unfolded was more subdued so it was almost a mix between the two. Either way it worked well for me and was an intriguing read.
This was character driven and really focused on the relationship between Becca and her estranged father, but also between Becca and her longtime boyfriend as well. Besides Becca you also hear from Parker giving it a subtle police procedural vibe and then John, a local outlaw who is part of a biker gang. All three were complicated and interesting and I just saw on Goodreads that this is the first book in a new series with the next installment set to be released next summer!
I’m a sucker for old cases and new ones colliding and there was plenty of that here. Throw in some fantastic and evocative writing and a tricky mystery and I was all in. Recommended for those looking for a rich, character driven story with a great setting and a few surprises along the way.
River Bodies in three words: Subtle, Layered and Engrossing.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

3 thoughts on “Review: River Bodies by Karen Katchur

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