In 1977 a small town in Oregon was rocked by murders done by a woman, dubbed The Lady Killer Murders. The leading suspect was Beth Greer – a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman who was seen fleeing one of the crimes. She was acquitted, however, and she she became a recluse in her family mansion.
Forty years later, Shea Collins – a receptionist by day but by night the force behind a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases. This has been a fascination of hers since she escaped an abduction attempt as a child. When Shea runs into Beth Greer by chance, Shea asks if she might interview Beth and is surprised when Beth says yes.
The two meet regularly at the mansion, but Shea is never comfortable there. She’s convinced that things in the house move about on their own when she’s not looking, and she can feel the presence of someone else at times. Even so, Shea believes she gets to the truth behind this cold case.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book but the description sounded interesting to me and it turned out to be a really good read.
Author Simone St. James crafts this story delicately and builds it with great precision. Would-be mystery writers should take special note of how St. James structures this book. It is a fascinating and exciting work.
Although Shea Collins narrates this, it is clearly Beth Greer’s story. Greer is such an interesting character. By all rights, she should not be a sympathetic character. All signs point to her being the murderer and she has nothing but distain for anyone who tries to help her. She hates people and prefers solitude. Why should we like her? And yet we do. We are curious about her and completely invested in her story.
But what is truly tremendous here is the supernatural element. This is a mystery, but it is also a ghost story. Unless you know that before going in to the book, the supernatural element is so subtle, barely hinted at early on and only grows as Beth’s story becomes more and more clear until we can feel that ghost at our backs as we read.
I really enjoyed this book – enough to want to read more by Simone St. James.
Looking for a good book? The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James is a really wonderful supernatural (ghost story)/mystery. It is well written and draws the reader in.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Book of Cold Cases
author: Simone St. James
hardcover, 352 pages