Book Title: A Season To Lie
Author: Emily Littlejohn
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Series: Gemma Monroe #2
Genres: Mystery, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural
Pub Date: 11/14/17
In Emily Littlejohn’s follow-up to her acclaimed debut, Inherit the Bones, police officer Gemma Monroe has just returned to work from maternity leave. And what a first day back: a blizzard is blowing into her idyllic Colorado ski town, and while Gemma hopes for a quiet, warm evening in, she knows it will mean plenty of calls out for snow-related accidents. But when an anonymous caller reports seeing a lurker at the local high school, Gemma gets far more than she bargained for. Behind the school building, half covered in a drift of snow, lies the gruesomely murdered body of a world-famous author—whose presence in town was meant to be a secret.
As a cop, I tell myself that I am the hunter and death is my prey. But I’m starting to think that’s a lie. The truth is, it’s death that’s following me. It has followed me all my life.
As this is a sequel to Inherit the Bones, I’ll keep it short and to the point. I don’t like to rehash the basics in every book of a series, but I felt this one had many strengths, yet also a few weaknesses. I found myself torn throughout the entire read; while I was thoroughly invested in the personal goings on of the reoccurring characters, I found myself struggling a bit to make it through the case pertaining to this book. If I had to choose, I would much rather struggle with the bit that will only involve this book in lieu of the ongoing story, which is why I gave this an “I enjoyed this with slight hesitations” 3 stars.
“You love it,” Finn said. “Admit it. Not the fact that someone’s dead, of course, but you love being back in the game. I saw you, watching him, watching the woods. Watching is in your blood, Gemma. It’s all you know.”
There was some serious growth in Gemma and our other main characters in this book; I loved this! In the debut to the series I felt Littlejohn created a cast I immediately connected with; that bond only deepened during A Season to Lie as we follow Gemma along her new journey into motherhood. I found myself itching to read this book from the moment I laid down the last one because I just wanted to see how my crew was doing. I may be in the minority, but it felt like the case took a major backseat to the personal stuff, which was fine if there had been more of the personal stuff. The mystery into the murder(s) wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t anything groundbreaking. I figured out who the murderer was early on, which wasn’t a deal breaker for me, but the entire book felt repetitive. Each chapter contained a lengthy scene where Gemma was rehashing the clues they had put together thus far, either in her head or with someone else. I do understand the importance of keeping your audience abreast of what’s going on, but I found myself skipping entire chunks and not missing a thing due to this nature. Other than that, this was a solid crime novel with excellent characters and a creepy undertone that held my attention. Even though I wasn’t blown away by this installment I will most definitely be reading the next book as the characters really are top notch.
Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy via NetGalley.