Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Review: Murder Notes - Lisa Renee Jones

Murder Notes (Lilah Love #1)
Lisa Renee Jones
Published: March 27, 2018
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Mystery

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones’s heart-pounding thriller of a woman’s secrets—and a past that’s about to come out of hiding…

As an FBI profiler, it’s Lilah Love’s job to think like a killer. And she is very good at her job. When a series of murders surface—the victims all stripped naked and shot in the head—Lilah’s instincts tell her it’s the work of an assassin, not a serial killer. But when the case takes her back to her hometown in the Hamptons and a mysterious but unmistakable connection to her own life, all her assumptions are shaken to the core.

​Thrust into a troubled past she’s tried to shut the door on, Lilah’s back in the town where her father is mayor, her brother is police chief, and she has an intimate history with the local crime lord’s son, Kane Mendez. The two share a devastating secret, and only Kane understands Lilah’s own darkest impulses. As more corpses surface, so does a series of anonymous notes to Lilah, threatening to expose her. Is the killer someone in her own circle? And is she the next target?

4 Stars
I find myself joining all the other reviewers in saying, "I need more and I need it now!" The queen of leaving us hanging has done it again!

Detective Lilah Love is used the jokes about her name, she's used to the horrors of brutal crime scenes, and she's used to being alone. A pile of bodies all murdered in the same way call her back home to the Hamptons, a place she isn't used to being around people she isn't used to seeing. Determined to track down the killer she begins gathering data, only to find herself the target of eerie notes that relate to something she thought was in the past. The notes, the bodies, and those fighting to keep everything covered up reveal to her that maybe the tie in between all the murders is herself.

"He is the devil, but then, I am no angel. He made sure of that."

Oh my, Lisa Renee Jones has done it again, but this time from the perspective of a beautiful, complicated woman who doesn't have the time for romancing. It's different for LRJ and I really enjoyed Lilah Love and her crude mouth. She's a different sort of female character, very complex and strong in many ways, but also incredibly broken and weighed down by life. She covers things up with wit and sarcasm and she believes she protects others by keeping everything to herself. Her past is a difficult one and though it is fitting of the story, it's painful to watch a piece of her past haunt her in a very present and active way. Then there's the men, oh the men. The list goes on and on, from family members to exes to coworkers, Lilah is surrounded by a sea of men who don't really want her to uncover the truth, who don't really want her to be as strong as she is. They treat her delicately, like she's breakable and simply unable to handle the realities. The men ignore her role, her strength, and are simple unaware of the past that made her into the woman she is. She remains fierce, strong willed, and increasingly agitated by the assumptions of those around her.

"There's always a murder where you are, Lilah."

Which brings me to the meat of the story, the murders of four individuals that, for some reason, the men don't want her to work. Lilah Love is neck deep in the mystery, but Murder Notes is a thriller not a mystery and that is very apparent as it is revealed to readers that somehow Lilah is tied into all of this. In very lengthy, maybe too lengthy, detail LRJ tells us of Lilah's pasts, of the current crime scenes, of the lives of every individual possibly involved, and the history that surrounds the current murders. There's a stalker, an assassinator, a long simmering romance, political aspirations, friends, enemies, and two cartels that just can't seem to get along when left to their own devices. It's fairly complicated and quite a lot to remember, which was tedious at first, but in time I was attached to this story and just as addicted to solving the crime as Lilah. Unfortunately, Murder Notes is book one in a series and we are left with a cliffhanger that promises answers, and likely more questions, are to come.

"It bleeds because you bleed."

I'm not sure how long I can wait for answers in the Lilah Love series, the danger too great to ignore and the passionate lust between Lilah and another just promises there is more smut to come. There's secrets to uncover, lies to disprove, and a deadly killer and a stalker who must be found out. Murder Notes is an engaging, character-driven thriller from the incredible Lisa Renee Jones. It's a series you won't be able to walk away from and one you won't be able to guess the ending of.

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