Sunday, June 16, 2019

ARC Review: Murder in the City of Liberty

ABL Review At-A-Glance

Ø    Title:  Murder in the City of Liberty
Ø    My Rating: 4
Ø    Genre:  Historical Fiction, Mystery
Ø    Author:  Rachel McMillan
Ø    Format:  ARC Paperback*
Ø    Publication Date: May 28, 2019

Compare To:

Hamish DeLuca and Regina "Reggie" Van Buren have a new case--and this one brings the war in Europe dangerously close to home.

Determined to make a life for herself, Regina "Reggie" Van Buren bid goodbye to fine china and the man her parents expected her to marry and escaped to Boston. What she never expected to discover was that an unknown talent for sleuthing would develop into a business partnership with the handsome, yet shy, Hamish DeLuca.

Their latest case arrives when Errol Parker, the leading base stealer in the Boston farm leagues, hires Hamish and Reggie to investigate what the Boston police shove off as a series of harmless pranks. Errol believes these are hate crimes linked to the outbreak of war in Europe, and he's afraid for his life. Hamish and Reggie quickly find themselves in the midst of an escalating series of crimes that seem to link Boston to Hamish's hometown of Toronto.

When an act of violence hits too close to home, Hamish is driven to a decision that may sever him from Reggie forever . . . even more than her engagement to wealthy architect Vaughan Vanderlaan.

My Thoughts...

 I want to start by making this abundantly clear: I love Hammish.  As a person who suffers from anxiety attacks, this character is my hero.  As Hammish is experiencing his "episodes," I am right there with him.  The description are so well written that I had to be careful, because I could feel my heart start to respond with Hammish.  It was almost as if my body knew these feelings and physical symptoms so well, that it began to mimic them.  Have you ever been reading along with a book, and a character winks, smiles, or shrugs, and you find yourself  making the same motions?  It was that but with panic attacks.  Hammish's story makes me so grateful for modern medicine and the increasing awareness of society to the truths of mental illness.  Characters like Hammish are so important in our continuing battle to raise awareness and remove the stigmas of mental illness.

As for the book itself, it was a joy to read.  I'm slowly falling in love with the city of Boston.  I want to see the Paul Revere statute, take in a game at Fenway park, and smell the maple syrup on a hot day.  Not only is it ripe with historical places, but it seems the streets are  a perfect setting to unveil mystery and weave intriguing storylines.  There is so much of the racial, political, and socioeconomic undercurrent that this book almost feels like a history lesson, except way more fun.  

The love story is sweet, and at times frustrating.  When two people should be together, and aren't, that's frustrating for a reader.  But, honestly, if couples just jumped into each others arms upon meeting, there wouldn't be a book and we wouldn't be interested.  It's the conflict that hooks the reader, and I really enjoyed reading how these characters navigated their choices (trying really hard not to give away spoilers).  

In my opinion, this is not a true standalone book.  Technically, all of the information you need from book 1 is included in book 2.  However, I believe this is a series and should be read as such.  I don't know how anyone could understand Hammish and Reggie without having read book 1.  The backstory is so much of these characters.  From understanding why cannoli is so important to Hammish's cousin, you need book 1.

What’s Missing...
This book did not get 5 Eiffel towers (stars) because it seemed to drag a little in the middle.  I really liked book 1 and never felt like the story slowed too much, but in this installment, I wasn't as hooked. I can't define exactly why, but the gripping scenes seemed to give way to more mundane sequences.  Since, what I really wanted was Hammish and Reggie on a dance floor.  That's where the real action was taking place!

* Special thanks to Rachel McMillan, Thomas Nelson, and TLC Book Tours for providing a copy of Murder in the City of Liberty in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. It's good to note that some important pieces of these character's personalities could be found in earlier books. Thanks for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours


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