‘Not all evil, on the surface, is ugly and menacing. It doesn’t always lurk in city centres after dark. It mows your lawns, frequents your local pub, takes its kids to school and contributes to communities.’
When the first letter arrives saying that ‘tonight it begins’, journalist Miller Hatcher ignores it. But then the body of a murdered woman is discovered, strangled, a scarf around her neck.
Cassie Hughes has always vowed to find the man who murdered her mother. Cassie knows he’s out there and wants him to pay, and Miller agrees to bring the cold case back into the public’s eye.
Logan Dodds has been obsessed with true crime ever since his sister was murdered thirty years ago. He has turned his obsession into a career and has created the True Crime Enthusiasts Club and his newest venture, True Crime Tours.
The lives of Miller, Cassie and Logan – all affected differently by murder – become entwined as The Scarf Killer, desperate for infamy, and Miller’s attention, makes his mark on the small town of Lentford.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
Set in a small town in New Zealand which gives the story a distinctive ethos and pace, this is the second story to feature investigative journalist Miller Hatcher. There is sufficient character information included making it a standalone read. Miller Hatcher, a recovering alcoholic, has past issues and trouble accepting her current life. Keen to establish her journalistic credibility in the small town entangles her with a cold case, a murder club and a murderer who wants infamy.
This is a slow-building suspense story which has lots of suspects, misinformation and immerses the reader in a claustrophobic setting. Everyone knows everyone, but one of them is a murderer. Miller Hatcher is a strong protagonist with relatable flaws that add to her authenticity. The detailed plot keeps its secrets until the conclusion, and the pace picks up as the story progresses.
After seven years of working as a librarian in New Zealand and overseas, Nikki now works as a freelance proofreader and copy editor. She lives in the small Waikato town of Cambridge in New Zealand with her husband and two girls.
Nikki has been writing on and off her whole life and before she turned to crime writing had success in flash fiction. She has been published in ‘Bonsai: Best Small Fictions from Aotearoa New Zealand’, and ‘Fresh Ink’ anthologies.
Crime/thriller/mystery novels are her passion. Her first novel, ‘Nothing Bad Happens Here’, featuring journalist Miller Hatcher, is set on the Coromandel Coast of New Zealand. It was a finalist in the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Award for best first novel. Her second book, ‘No One Can Hear You’, was long-listed for the Ngaio Marsh Award for best novel in 2019. ‘The Murder Club’ is the second in the Miller Hatcher series.