From Christi Daugherty, author of The Echo Killing, comes another pulse-pounding suspenseful thriller featuring crime reporter Harper McClain.
For a woman, being killed by someone who claims to love her is the most ordinary murder of all.
With its antebellum houses and ancient oak trees draped in a veil of Spanish moss, Savannah’s graceful downtown is famous around the world. When a woman is killed in the heart of that affluent district, the shock is felt throughout the city. But for crime reporter Harper McClain, this story is personal. The corpse has a familiar face.
Only twenty-four years old, Naomi Scott was just getting started. A law student, tending bar to make ends meet, she wanted to change the world. Instead, her life ended in the dead of night at the hands of an unseen gunman. There are no witnesses to the crime. The police have three suspects: Scott’s boyfriend, who has a criminal past he claims he’s put behind him, her boss, who stalked another young bartender two years ago, and the district attorney’s son, who Naomi dated until their relationship ended in acrimony. All three men claim to love her. Could one of them be her killer?
With the whole city demanding answers, Harper unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy. But the pressures on her go beyond the murder. The newspaper is facing more layoffs. Her boss fears both their jobs are on the line. And Harper begins to realize that someone is watching her every move. Someone familiar and very dangerous.
Someone who told her to run before it’s too late…
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A Harper McClain Mystery
A Beautiful Corpse can be read alone if you have not picked up The Echo Killing. The incidents that occurred in the first installment are summarized in A Beautiful Corpse. Harper McClain is a dedicated crime reporter who was mentored by Chief Detective Robert Smith. It was a blow when she learned he killed someone. The police now consider her a traitor and Harper is cut off from sources inside the Savannah PD. Naomi Scott is murdered on River Street with no eyewitnesses. The police focus on the boyfriend despite Jerrod Scott’s objections. Harper pursues another lead which could have deadly consequences for her career if she is wrong. In addition, someone has broken into her apartment again despite the alarm system. Then Harper feels like someone is following her. Harper’s boyfriend, Luke Walker broke up with after the Scott case, but they are still attracted to each other (trust issues). It was interesting following a mystery from a reporter’s perspective. Harper is dedicated (dogged determination) to uncovering the truth. The writing is descriptive and extremely detailed (a little too much for my tastes). Her narratives allowed me to visualize Savannah. I did find the pace to be on the slow side. For this type of story, the pacing needed to be livelier. The mystery was appealing in the beginning. The guilty party was soon glaringly obvious which took away from the mysteries appeal (I wanted more intrigue, twists). I felt the ending was too long and drawn out. There is suspense in wondering who is following Harper and what is the person’s motive. However, we do not get any answers in A Beautiful Corpse. Harper has not made any progress into identifying her mother’s killer. This storyline plays out in the background and remains unresolved. A Beautiful Corpse does contain violence, intimate relations and foul language. A Beautiful Corpse has some interesting components, but it was missing something that would take it to the next level.