The Killing Song
Review: Miami crime reporter Matt Owens sets off on his own investigative journey after his younger sister is brutally murdered in The Killing Song, a stand-alone thriller by P. J. Parrish.
Amanda Owens is in town for a long weekend visit, when she disappears from the club they had stepped into. She's later found dead, the only piece of evidence near the body is her iPod. Following the funeral, Matt is scanning through her downloads, only to discover a Rolling Stones song from the 1980s. Matt is puzzled by this, as Amanda hated rock songs. More troubling, the song was downloaded after she disappeared, which suggests to him that possibly the killer downloaded it, though for what purpose he cannot imagine. The police have no motive or suspect, and believing he has a clue to Amanda's killer, Matt looks to the song's lyrics for a hint: Bois de Boulogne, Paris … and the site of an unsolved murder of a young woman earlier in the year.
The idea was crazy, the connection razor-thin. I didn't know the city, couldn't speak the language. How was I going to convince the French police that a murder in Miami could be related to a homicide that had happened in Paris nine months earlier?
The Killing Song starts quickly and never lets up on its pacing. Matt Owens as a character comes across as a competent investigative journalist, a bit rash perhaps — catching the next flight to Paris on little more than a whim, for example — but one who knows how to move a story forward, as it were. The only slightly disappointing aspect to the book is that the killer is known from the very first chapter and has his own point of view throughout. This storyline element doesn't necessarily detract, however, as there is still the unknown motive for the murders — Who, for example, is the mysterious Hélène that the killer refers to? And why the chosen songs that accompany the murders? — and Matt's pursuit of him throughout Britain and ending in the always fascinating and atmospheric catacombs of Paris. Still, leaving something about the killer to the reader's imagination might have made for a more suspenseful adventure.
Acknowledgment: the author provided an ARC of The Killing Song for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Little Death
Pocket Books (Mass Market Paperback), February 2010
ISBN-13: 9781416525899; ISBN-10: 1416525890
She's Not There
Thomas & Mercer (Trade Paperback), September 2015
ISBN-13: 9781503945043; ISBN-10: 1503945049
Location(s) referenced in The Killing Song: Miami, Florida; Paris, France; England; Scotland
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The Killing Song by P. J. Parrish
Publisher: Pocket Books
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publication Date: August 2011
List Price: $7.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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