Thursday, October 2, 2014

Review: A Penny for the Hangman by Tom Savage

Title: A Penny for the Hangman
Author: Tom Savage
Year Published: 2014

Genre: Adult mystery
Pages: 259
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2014 Google Reading map): US Virgin Islands

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review

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Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Fifty year ago, on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas, two teenagers born to privilege were convicted of slaughtering their parents in cold blood. Today the men are free and a Hollywood movie has been made about the murders. For Karen Tyler, an eager New York journalist, the case is irresistible. She has been invited to the Virgin Islands for an interview that is too good to pass up...and sounds too good to be true.

Karen packs her bikini and her digital recorder and follows an ingeniously designed trail that leads her to a wealthy, mysterious figure. The man claims to be one of the notorious boys, but Karen soon learns that all is not as it seems. On this isolated utopia of sun and surf, a young reporter far from home fights for the truth--and her life. Because the shocking secret behind the infamous atrocities has remained hidden all these years. And the killing isn't over year. 
Review: Another TLC Tour and another mystery! Trish and Lisa know me so well! I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have a difficult time reviewing mysteries. I always feel like anything I say will give something away. Needless to say, there are a number of surprises and plot twists that kept me on the edge of my seat.

I was pretty creeped out very early on in this book, and I mean that in the best way. Right away poor Karen is being followed, deceived, and taken advantage of by multiple people. She seemed to be walking into a trap from the very start! But, of course, that's what makes a good mystery!

I liked that the novel wasn't just a straight prose novel. The reader gets information about the murders which took place fifty years earlier through a policeman's book, newspaper articles, and journal entries. I felt like I was getting multiple perspectives on what happened and what was currently going on and that sat well with me.

It is difficult to read about pure evil, but it did help that the setting for this book is the US Virgin Islands, which Savage describes well, giving us local color and interest.

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