Murder is announced before it happens in this mystery suspense thriller!
In this debut novel, an elderly farmer is gruesomely murdered and found in a homemade coffin on the side of the highway. It would appear that a serial killer has come to a small Pennsylvania town, or has he? Nick Donnelly has been chasing the “Betsy Ross Killer” for more than a year. He’s called in to assist Police Chief Kat Campbell in investigating the farmer’s death. However, there is something more sinister here. The killer has faxed a death notice to obituary writer Henry Goll before the farmer was murdered!
Nick, Kat, and Henry are drawn together into this race to catch a copycat killer in the small Pennsylvania town of Perry Hollow. All three of these main characters are well-drawn with slowly emerging backstories that add to depth their characterizations. Deeply buried small town secrets also play into the mix. In fact, all the characters are given fine brushstrokes here. One of the book’s strong suits.
The plot, too, has its twists and turns, but it may be a tad easy for veteran mystery readers to spot an early clue that virtually gives away the killer’s identity. Another major clue involving sawdust makes one question why the characters didn’t consider it more closely earlier in the tale. Yet these are minor quibbles in a thrilling tale that builds up to an edge of your seat climax.
For more about Death Notice and author Todd Ritter, check out his website here. Also, Todd Ritter writes about his long road to getting published here, which may be of interest to budding writers.