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The Sorority Murder

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"The 10 Best New Mystery and Thriller Books of December are Giving Us Literal Chills"--E! Online "10 Books to Cozy Up With This December"--PopSugar A popular sorority girl. An unsolved murder. A campus podcast with chilling repercussions. Lucas Vega is obsessed with the death of Candace Swain, who left a sorority party one night and never came back. Her body was found after "The 10 Best New Mystery and Thriller Books of December are Giving Us Literal Chills"--E! Online "10 Books to Cozy Up With This December"--PopSugar A popular sorority girl. An unsolved murder. A campus podcast with chilling repercussions. Lucas Vega is obsessed with the death of Candace Swain, who left a sorority party one night and never came back. Her body was found after two weeks, but the case has grown cold. Three years later while interning at the medical examiner's, Lucas discovers new information, but the police are not interested. Lucas knows he has several credible pieces of the puzzle. He just isn't sure how they fit together. So he creates a podcast to revisit Candace's last hours. Then he encourages listeners to crowdsource what they remember and invites guest lecturer Regan Merritt, a former US marshal, to come on and share her expertise. New tips come in that convince Lucas and Regan they are onto something. Then shockingly one of the podcast callers turns up dead. Another hints at Candace's secret life, a much darker picture than Lucas imagined--and one that implicates other sorority sisters. Regan uses her own resources to bolster their theory and learns that Lucas is hiding his own secret. The pressure is on to solve the murder, but first Lucas must come clean about his real motives in pursuing this podcast--before the killer silences him forever. "Fans of Jeff Abbott and Karin Slaughter will find this crime novel hard to put down." -- Publishers Weekly on The Third to Die "Downright spectacular... [A] riveting page turner as prescient as it is purposeful." --Providence Journal on Tell No Lies


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"The 10 Best New Mystery and Thriller Books of December are Giving Us Literal Chills"--E! Online "10 Books to Cozy Up With This December"--PopSugar A popular sorority girl. An unsolved murder. A campus podcast with chilling repercussions. Lucas Vega is obsessed with the death of Candace Swain, who left a sorority party one night and never came back. Her body was found after "The 10 Best New Mystery and Thriller Books of December are Giving Us Literal Chills"--E! Online "10 Books to Cozy Up With This December"--PopSugar A popular sorority girl. An unsolved murder. A campus podcast with chilling repercussions. Lucas Vega is obsessed with the death of Candace Swain, who left a sorority party one night and never came back. Her body was found after two weeks, but the case has grown cold. Three years later while interning at the medical examiner's, Lucas discovers new information, but the police are not interested. Lucas knows he has several credible pieces of the puzzle. He just isn't sure how they fit together. So he creates a podcast to revisit Candace's last hours. Then he encourages listeners to crowdsource what they remember and invites guest lecturer Regan Merritt, a former US marshal, to come on and share her expertise. New tips come in that convince Lucas and Regan they are onto something. Then shockingly one of the podcast callers turns up dead. Another hints at Candace's secret life, a much darker picture than Lucas imagined--and one that implicates other sorority sisters. Regan uses her own resources to bolster their theory and learns that Lucas is hiding his own secret. The pressure is on to solve the murder, but first Lucas must come clean about his real motives in pursuing this podcast--before the killer silences him forever. "Fans of Jeff Abbott and Karin Slaughter will find this crime novel hard to put down." -- Publishers Weekly on The Third to Die "Downright spectacular... [A] riveting page turner as prescient as it is purposeful." --Providence Journal on Tell No Lies

30 review for The Sorority Murder

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    3.5 stars, rounded up This is a creative mystery with some good points and a few shortcomings, but the good outweighs the bad overall. The Good The main premise of this book is that college student Lucas Vega has started a podcast in order to find more information and possibly solve the disappearance and then murder of Candace Swain three years previously. Candace was a senior nursing student at Northern Arizona University when Lucas was a freshman, and she disappeared after a sorority party and wa 3.5 stars, rounded up This is a creative mystery with some good points and a few shortcomings, but the good outweighs the bad overall. The Good The main premise of this book is that college student Lucas Vega has started a podcast in order to find more information and possibly solve the disappearance and then murder of Candace Swain three years previously. Candace was a senior nursing student at Northern Arizona University when Lucas was a freshman, and she disappeared after a sorority party and was found dead a week later. The podcast angle is fresh and interesting and done well in the story. Regan Merritt, a former US Marshal, home visiting her father in Flagstaff after some devastating personal issues, volunteers as a guest expert on the podcast. She then gets invested in helping Lucas to find out what happened to Candace. I loved her as a character and she added some depth and maturity that the storyline really needed. Overall the mystery works, it's a bit unbelievable at the end, but for the most part the story kept me interested and wanting to discover the answers. Once the pacing picks up (see below) the book moves rapidly to an exciting conclusion. The Not-So-Good The book takes forever to get going. It felt like we were spinning in circles because we went over the same evidence over and over (and over) with each new character's addition, and then Lucas rehashes the same evidence on his podcast. The repetition was grating after a while and threw the pacing completely off. Once things actually start to occur in real time (rather than just Lucas talking about what he knows) and people start coming forward with more clues and information, the pace picks up rapidly and the book becomes much more interesting. Lucas was difficult for me to like for quite a long time. I knew he must be hiding something from Regan, but in general he acted like a high school student instead of a college student with some of his antics and ways he was speaking. I wish the author would have made him more intelligent and less hysterical. **WHY oh why do these authors insist on having characters with similar names? In this book we have Rachel and Regan. Argh, it was difficult to keep them straight sometimes, I had to go back and re-read certain sections to figure out who was in the scene. ** There are a MILLION names out there, why pick ones that are SO similar? Overall, this is an engaging mystery if you realize that the beginning is going to be a bit slow. I really hope Brennan brings Regan back in the future, she's a complex character with a lot to add to mystery investigations. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    booksNpenguins

    The moment I saw this cover and read the blurb, I was obsessed with reading this book and, like an itch you can't scratch, I couldn't properly do anything until I started reading The Sorority Murder and get it finally out of my system. Now that I finished it, though, it's not with a tad of bitterness that I'm saying the idea of this book was way better than its outcome. Lucas Vega is hosting a podcast called The Sorority Murder as a capstone project, where he elaborates the facts that happ The moment I saw this cover and read the blurb, I was obsessed with reading this book and, like an itch you can't scratch, I couldn't properly do anything until I started reading The Sorority Murder and get it finally out of my system. Now that I finished it, though, it's not with a tad of bitterness that I'm saying the idea of this book was way better than its outcome. Lucas Vega is hosting a podcast called The Sorority Murder as a capstone project, where he elaborates the facts that happened three years before, when the sorority member Candace Swain was found dead in a lake. Lucas doesn't believe the homeless man convicted for the crime is the real killer, so he's trying to gather new information to prove his theory. So far so great. I mean, it sounds like the combination of factors I usually go crazy for in a book. But, alas, I have more complaints than compliments. First of all, this book took forever to start and the writing is so stiff and repetitive I felt like I was reading something written out of spite or without really trying. Because of this I had a hard time getting into the story properly and had to force myself to actually keep reading because I wanted to know if it was going to eventually get better. It never did, but I finished it anyway though not without effort. I think Lucas could have been a good main character, but he lacked substance and had nothing that earned him the title of MC, so he fell even flatter in the end. The mystery and drama weren't that bad, hence the two stars up there, but the script-like writing, underdeveloped characters, heavy and repetitive info-dumping and the way the author managed to have things explained via dialogue most of the time instead of incorporate them into the narration, penalized the entire work too much to give it more.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    She was at the party, and now she is dead. Who saw Candace when she left the party after an argument three years ago ? Where was Candace for a week before they found her in the lake? Candace was a popular sorority sister, and the publicity for the sorority with the re-opening of this case through podcasts is not what they wanted. Many sorority members were nervous when, Lucas, a friend of Candace’s started podcasts to try to get people to remember that night in hopes that after three years new clues She was at the party, and now she is dead. Who saw Candace when she left the party after an argument three years ago ? Where was Candace for a week before they found her in the lake? Candace was a popular sorority sister, and the publicity for the sorority with the re-opening of this case through podcasts is not what they wanted. Many sorority members were nervous when, Lucas, a friend of Candace’s started podcasts to try to get people to remember that night in hopes that after three years new clues would surface and help find her killer. There was only one suspect the police looked at, and this homeless man was seen disappearing the same day they found Candace's body, and he still hasn’t been found. When other things start happening, questions pop up….could it be that the homeless suspect isn’t the real killer? But…where can he be? Hints about other friends knowing things and becoming nervous makes the tension increase as Regan comes on the scene to help Lucas with his podcasts. Someone is hiding something that they know about Candace and the sorority, but what is it? We follow Regan and Lucas as they put themselves in danger as they begin to uncover the truth. THE SORORITY MURDER is engaging, has a great story line, and complicated, interesting characters. One character is pretty evil and cunning. Thriller fans and amateur detectives will really enjoy this book especially when the tension ramps up as they get closer to solving the mystery. 5/5 This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    So I am a huge true-crime podcast lover and these books that use a podcast as a way to work through the story and crime I am really enjoying! Let's start at the beginning. A very popular Sorority girl is murdered. Candace was at a sorority house party and when she left that night she was never seen alive again. Two weeks after that night her body was found. That was three years ago, now her murder is a cold case. Lucas is a forensics major and he is interning at the medical examiner's office. He So I am a huge true-crime podcast lover and these books that use a podcast as a way to work through the story and crime I am really enjoying! Let's start at the beginning. A very popular Sorority girl is murdered. Candace was at a sorority house party and when she left that night she was never seen alive again. Two weeks after that night her body was found. That was three years ago, now her murder is a cold case. Lucas is a forensics major and he is interning at the medical examiner's office. He is also obsessed with Candance's murder. While originally the suspect was a homeless drunk man he has not been seen since her murder, so that is kind of a dead-end there. While interning at the medical examiner's office Lucas finds some new information, however, when he goes to the police they really aren't interested in the information. Knowing that he has quite a bit of pieces of the puzzle Lucas decides to create a podcast that goes over the last hours of Candace's life. He soon pairs up with Reagan and she was a US Marshal so she can share her expertise in this case. Now, his listeners start sharing information and this leads to another case as well. you I loved this book! I was hooked by the first chapter. So, I was guessing and trying to work out who the villain was and I felt like I was going in circles over and over but it was soo good! If you love shows like law and order or are fans of Karen Slaughter then this should be your next read! It was soo good! I also really enjoyed the mystery and the suspense that was built up in the book until the very dramatic reveal! Thank you Netgalley and Mira for the opportunity to read and review this one!

  5. 4 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes: A lie for a good reason is still a lie. When there is no place to go, you go home. Regan had to really dig down to dredge up sympathy for her. A pathetic, selfish, sociopath. Maybe she didn’t have any sympathy. My Review: I preface my review with the confessions that it has been decades since I stepped on a college campus, I have always had a negative opinion of Greek life, I have never listened to a podcast, and I had to Google what crowdsourcing and capstone projects were. This ten Favorite Quotes: A lie for a good reason is still a lie. When there is no place to go, you go home. Regan had to really dig down to dredge up sympathy for her. A pathetic, selfish, sociopath. Maybe she didn’t have any sympathy. My Review: I preface my review with the confessions that it has been decades since I stepped on a college campus, I have always had a negative opinion of Greek life, I have never listened to a podcast, and I had to Google what crowdsourcing and capstone projects were. This tense written and slowly developing tale has me convinced that I have become a complete and total goober! The writing was tensely emotive and highly evocative although I often felt frustrated with the pacing. The story seemed to be progressing at a turtles pace with the main characters going off in all directions while battling to gain ground by inches and thwarted from every side. Yet despite my impatience, I was invested, engaged, and incurably curious and hooked into Allison Brennan’s fiendishly confounding storylines. My cuticles became increasingly ragged as I worried for the determined and tenacious young podcaster and spun and discarded my own useless theories. The reveals exposed events that were realistic and relatable as well as clever with the final chapters being a maelstrom of peril. Allison Brennan took me down a rabbit hole. I may need to wear gloves for a while…

  6. 4 out of 5

    ♥Rachel♥

    Lucas Vega is hoping to uncover answers in the cold case of Candace Swain, a fellow college student murdered three years earlier. A homeless man was the main suspect, but Lucas has evidence that suggests otherwise. So far, he’s been railroaded by Candace’s sorority sisters and the Flagstaff Police, but he hopes with the help of Former US Marshall, Regan Meritt, he’ll be to get answers. Lucas has a personal stake in finding the truth, one he doesn’t want to share just yet. I really liked Regan an Lucas Vega is hoping to uncover answers in the cold case of Candace Swain, a fellow college student murdered three years earlier. A homeless man was the main suspect, but Lucas has evidence that suggests otherwise. So far, he’s been railroaded by Candace’s sorority sisters and the Flagstaff Police, but he hopes with the help of Former US Marshall, Regan Meritt, he’ll be to get answers. Lucas has a personal stake in finding the truth, one he doesn’t want to share just yet. I really liked Regan and Lucas and they made a good investigative team. I think a podcast, so popular right now, would be an excellent way to propel a cold case back into the spotlight. In this case it really got the attention of the community putting both Lucas and Regan in danger as they edge closer to the truth. I’m a big fan of Allison Brennan’s mysteries and I’m always eager for her next release. Even though it was easy to guess at the identity of the killer I was sucked into the story eager to find out the motivations, what exactly happened and what the killer would do next! Regan Meritt was a confident, interesting female lead, coping with a personal tragedy, back in her hometown regrouping. She’s on leave with the US Marshal Department, and things were not all wrapped with her story. There was also a potential romance. I wonder if Ms. Brennan intends to continue her story in future books. I look forward to solving more mysteries with Regan if that’s the case! A copy was kindly provided by MIRA in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    The Sorority Murder is a gripping novel of loyalty, betrayal, and murder from Allison Brennan. For his college Capstone Project, Forensics student, Lucas Vega has launched a podcast in the hopes of solving the cold case murder of popular nursing student, Candace Swain. Three years ago Candace left the Sigma Rho Spring Fling after an argument with a few of her sorority sisters, and disappeared, her body was discovered a week later in a nearby lake. The podcast isn’t gaining the traction Lucas hope The Sorority Murder is a gripping novel of loyalty, betrayal, and murder from Allison Brennan. For his college Capstone Project, Forensics student, Lucas Vega has launched a podcast in the hopes of solving the cold case murder of popular nursing student, Candace Swain. Three years ago Candace left the Sigma Rho Spring Fling after an argument with a few of her sorority sisters, and disappeared, her body was discovered a week later in a nearby lake. The podcast isn’t gaining the traction Lucas hoped, even with some bombshell revelations, until his advisor connects him with former US Marshall, Regan Merritt. As listeners finally begin to respond to his pleas for information, Lucas and Regan attempt to make sense of the secrets they uncover, but someone is determined that the truth remain buried, even if it means more die. Though the story is a little slow to get moving, I soon found myself engrossed in The Sorority Murder. The mystery surrounding the disappearance and murder of Candace is intriguing. Though the police believe an alcoholic, homeless vet known to trespass on the University grounds is likely responsible, as additional details surface, it becomes clear that the circumstances of the crime don’t support the theory. Short diary entries by Candace placed through the narrative hint at a dark secret she carried, which Lucas and Regan slowly piece together, bringing them closer to exposing the killer. I had an inkling of the ‘who’ early on, that was proved correct, though I didn’t fully grasp the ‘why’ until Brennan chose to reveal it. There’s not a lot of suspense in the novel until Lucas begins receiving threats, and then the tension rises sharply when another young woman dies. Lucas is an appealing character, while his motive for the Sorority Murder podcast isn’t quite as it seems, his intentions are good, he’s just a bit naive to the realities of what he is trying to achieve. Former US Marshal Regan Merritt tends to overshadow Lucas once she is introduced. She’s a more well rounded and capable character, and I found her, and her backstory, to be interesting. There is a suggestion that The Sorority Murder will be the first in ongoing series to feature Regan, which I think could work well. Entertaining and absorbing, I enjoyed The Sorority Murder.

  8. 4 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    Who killed Candace Swain? The popular college senior at North Arizona University went missing after the Sigma Rho sorority’s Spring Fling and her body was found several days later. Three years later, student Lucas Vega starts a podcast which is approved by the university as his Senior Project. He names it The Sorority Murder and hopes it will do what the local police had failed to do. Solve the murder. The sorority members won’t talk to him and others are afraid to speak up. And why is Lucas so Who killed Candace Swain? The popular college senior at North Arizona University went missing after the Sigma Rho sorority’s Spring Fling and her body was found several days later. Three years later, student Lucas Vega starts a podcast which is approved by the university as his Senior Project. He names it The Sorority Murder and hopes it will do what the local police had failed to do. Solve the murder. The sorority members won’t talk to him and others are afraid to speak up. And why is Lucas so determined to find out what happened? When Regan Merritt, a former U.S. Marshall offers to help Lucas, it is clear he is not being forthcoming about his motives. Together they start to piece together what happened to Candace. In an intriguing book that falls in the “dark academia” category, author Allison Brennan has created an appealing mystery thriller. It takes its time to get moving but once it does, it moves along nicely. Not as tense as some other books in this category but a worthwhile read. Rated 3.75 stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kori Potenzone

    If I ever go missing, I want Lucas Vega on the case. The Sorority Murder followed Lucas Vega in his pursuit to uncover the truth about a campus crime. Along the way you find out just why this case meant so much to him. Lucas never once gave up and did not stop until he achieved his goal, even if it put his life in danger. This is a hard book to review as I don't want to give away any spoilers! The only qualm I had was that the book did drag a bit and I was still left with a few questions on the If I ever go missing, I want Lucas Vega on the case. The Sorority Murder followed Lucas Vega in his pursuit to uncover the truth about a campus crime. Along the way you find out just why this case meant so much to him. Lucas never once gave up and did not stop until he achieved his goal, even if it put his life in danger. This is a hard book to review as I don't want to give away any spoilers! The only qualm I had was that the book did drag a bit and I was still left with a few questions on the back history of Ragen . I also wanted to know if she got her happy ending? Maybe there will be a sequel to an another case she helps with? Allison Brennan, does an incredible job incorporating different points of view in order to have the story make a full circle and come together. I would be interested to see if this develops into a series with Ragen Merrit. I absolutely love college thrillers so of course this will be one that I add to the list of books I suggest. All in all, great story and I really enjoyed this one!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nadene (Totally Addicted to Reading)

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Allison Brennan is quickly becoming a favourite author of mine. Therefore, when the opportunity to read her latest novel came my way, I didn’t hesitate to pick it up. The Sorority Murder delivered an intriguing, complex and slow burn mystery which held me captive from start to finish. The Sorority Murder introduces Lucas Vega, a student of forensic science. He st I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Allison Brennan is quickly becoming a favourite author of mine. Therefore, when the opportunity to read her latest novel came my way, I didn’t hesitate to pick it up. The Sorority Murder delivered an intriguing, complex and slow burn mystery which held me captive from start to finish. The Sorority Murder introduces Lucas Vega, a student of forensic science. He started a podcast, intending to garner more information regarding the three-year-old murder of nursing student Candace Swain. She was found murdered after mysteriously disappearing a week before  said murder. On the recommendation of his college advisor, Lucas teams up with former US Marshall Reagan Merritt. With Reagan’s help and expertise, new information came to light and more clues revealed. Soon danger comes knocking as someone is determined to stop the truth from coming to light. Lucas and Regan made a great investigative team. The concept of using a podcast in solving a cold case intrigued me. Not everyone was on board with the podcast as it opened up old wounds. Despite this, it proved to be an excellent concept as it propelled persons with information to come forward. Although it didn’t take long to figure out the identity of the villain, putting down the book proved a challenge. Learning about the events leading up to the murder and the motive of the villain drew me in. I liked how the author portrayed Lucas and Regan. Her portrayal made it easy to understand their motivations and relate to their pain.. Despite dealing with personal tragedies, Regan’s confidence and strength shined throughout the story. Lucas was like a dog with a bone. Even with the threat  of danger, he was determined to uncover the truth. However, in doing so, he ruffled some feathers. I have to admit; I didn’t like the fact he hid the true motive behind the podcast. He had a personal stake in finding the truth, however, he failed to inform Regan of this fact. Narration I enjoyed Amy McFadden’s narration. I would listen to anything she narrates. She brought each of the characters to life and her tone for each was distinct. Her narration enhanced my enjoyment of the story. Conclusion/Recommendation If you are looking for an engaging mystery, then The Sorority Murder will be a great addition to your reading list. This review was originally posted on Totally Addicted to Reading

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aniruddha M

    Lucas Vega, a criminal justice student at North Arizona University, starts a Podcast investigating the 3.5-year-old murder of Candace Swain, which was never solved. Joining him at the behest of his professor is ex-US Marshal, Regan Merritt. Together they start asking questions on Lucas’s Podcast, looking for information on Candace’s whereabouts for the week she remained missing, before being found dead. But their probing ruffles quite a few feathers, especially as it becomes clear that some peopl Lucas Vega, a criminal justice student at North Arizona University, starts a Podcast investigating the 3.5-year-old murder of Candace Swain, which was never solved. Joining him at the behest of his professor is ex-US Marshal, Regan Merritt. Together they start asking questions on Lucas’s Podcast, looking for information on Candace’s whereabouts for the week she remained missing, before being found dead. But their probing ruffles quite a few feathers, especially as it becomes clear that some people know a lot more than they have revealed. Will that prod the killer into doing something that will endanger Lucas or Regan’s lives? Please read my detailed review from the link below: https://www.aniblogshere.com/review-t... Do Read 📖, Like 👍🏼, Comment 💭, or Share 🚩 🙏🏼🙏🏼 #thesororitymurder #allisonbrennan #bookmagic #bookreview #lovebooks #supernatural #bookrecommendations #bookreviewer #bookreviewblog #bookreviewersofinstagram #booklover #books #bookreviewing #bookreviews #bookreviewblogger #bookblogger #generalfiction #lovethrillers #generalmysteries #booklovers #podcast #criminalinvestigation #murdermystery #crimenovel #suspense #mysterynovel #thriller

  12. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    Thrilling, chilling story that will have readers turning the pages to solve the case. A podcast was the catalyst. Senior forensics major Lucas Vegas decided to do the podcast as his Senior Year Capstone project. It was a cold case - the disappearance and murder of Senior student Candace Swain three years in the past. The person of interest in this cold case was a homeless alcoholic man who hadn't been seen since the deceased was found three years ago. Lucas believes the podcast might shake loose Thrilling, chilling story that will have readers turning the pages to solve the case. A podcast was the catalyst. Senior forensics major Lucas Vegas decided to do the podcast as his Senior Year Capstone project. It was a cold case - the disappearance and murder of Senior student Candace Swain three years in the past. The person of interest in this cold case was a homeless alcoholic man who hadn't been seen since the deceased was found three years ago. Lucas believes the podcast might shake loose some information the students and locals didn't realize at the time was significant. Professor Henry Clarkson, Lucas' advisor suggested former US Marshall Regan Merritt, who was home in Flagstaff after the death of her son and subsequent divorce, might aid in the podcast. The cold case certainly caught Regan's attention. Her US Marshal experience helped frame pertinent question. Regan and Lucas worked well together, especially after Lucas confessed the real reason he decided to do the podcast. The storyline of The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan is complex. This is not a quick whodunit. Ms. Brennan carefully crafted what amounts to essentially a police procedural story. She takes readers step-by-step as they learn certain facts pertaining to the case. It seems each communication provided stepping stones as to what actually happened. I liked the podcast setting for this storyline. This is such a fascinating case. I applaud how this author fashioned each clue as to what transpired. This might not be a typical Allison Brennan romantic suspense, but I still found it to be a brilliant and extremely satisfying read. In the acknowledgement section of this book Allison Brennan states that a thread that runs through the book is friendship. She asks what makes a true friend. I totally agree with how she answers that question. I hope the readers of this book agree with her description of a true friend. I certainly do! I received an ARC and this is my honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Solid Mystery That Could Have Used Better Pacing. Reading through the other Goodreads reviews on this one, a common complaint is the pacing and bloat of this book - and I tend to agree, to a point. There was in fact a lot of going over the same facts of the case, and that probably added a solid 20 pages to the length of this book just in that fact alone. But it wasn't something that I particularly noticed while reading, and indeed while reading I thought this was a truly solid use of an emerging Solid Mystery That Could Have Used Better Pacing. Reading through the other Goodreads reviews on this one, a common complaint is the pacing and bloat of this book - and I tend to agree, to a point. There was in fact a lot of going over the same facts of the case, and that probably added a solid 20 pages to the length of this book just in that fact alone. But it wasn't something that I particularly noticed while reading, and indeed while reading I thought this was a truly solid use of an emerging technique to solve cold cases. And while the body count may seem a bit high for a town with less than 80K (real-world) people, a quick Google shows that it actually isn't outside the realm of reality, even this Millenium (when until recently, violent crime was plummeting across the nation). It does in fact read a bit as a setup for a potential series with our former US Marshal investigator here, and it could actually be an interesting series if that is the case. Overall an interesting and compelling mystery that will keep you guessing until it wants to reveal it secrets - and then transitions into a bit more of an action/ suspense tale to finish up the case. Very much recommended.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    3.5 This was fine. I kind of guessed everything, but I liked the concept and the characters. I wish the podcast was a bigger element.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I’ve been excited for this one for a while and it was worth my hype. I can’t resist a sordid sorority tale and this one wasn’t as much on the Teen/YA side as a lot of them can be. That was a big plus. Things unfold consistently through the book so you’re not sitting there anxious until the last page. It was satisfying and had a good ending.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alyson Kent

    Thank you, Edelweiss, for the ARC. 3.5 rounded down because I felt like the plot went around in circles a lot, but it wasn't so much that it didn't keep my attention. Thank you, Edelweiss, for the ARC. 3.5 rounded down because I felt like the plot went around in circles a lot, but it wasn't so much that it didn't keep my attention.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Popular sorority girl Candace Swain left a party one evening and was never seen again. Two weeks later, her body was discovered. The case was never solved. Three years later, Lucas Vega finds new information while interning at the medical examiner’s office. The police brush him off showing no interest. Lucas becomes consumed with the case creating a podcast focusing on Candace and the events leading up to her disappearance. He encourages listeners to call in if they remember anything or have any Popular sorority girl Candace Swain left a party one evening and was never seen again. Two weeks later, her body was discovered. The case was never solved. Three years later, Lucas Vega finds new information while interning at the medical examiner’s office. The police brush him off showing no interest. Lucas becomes consumed with the case creating a podcast focusing on Candace and the events leading up to her disappearance. He encourages listeners to call in if they remember anything or have any information regarding the case. Lucas has numerous important pieces of information but can’t seem to put it together. Lucas calls in former U.S. marshal and lecturer Regan Merritt to help with the case. Tips start flooding in and the pair believe they are on the right track. Unfortunately one of the callers ends up dead. The plot thickens as they uncover Candace’s secret double life. To add fuel to the fire, Lucas is hiding something himself. Can Regan uncover what happened to Candace? Will Lucas tell the truth about why is he so invested in this mystery? I enjoyed this thriller. I thought it was unnecessarily long, but as the story unfolds, the end is worth the wait. What a tangled web the author Allison Brennan weaved!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alex | | findingmontauk1

    THE SORORITY MURDER by Allison Brennan is an interesting mystery/thriller about a popular sonority girl whose murder becomes a cold case and three years later a student on campus launches a podcast to try and uncover the truth. So many boxes are checked with just the basic premise of this story. Brennan does a great job at keeping us informed and engaged throughout the book. There are parts in the first 1/3 that are a little redundant for me - re-explaining and re-stating evidence, times of even THE SORORITY MURDER by Allison Brennan is an interesting mystery/thriller about a popular sonority girl whose murder becomes a cold case and three years later a student on campus launches a podcast to try and uncover the truth. So many boxes are checked with just the basic premise of this story. Brennan does a great job at keeping us informed and engaged throughout the book. There are parts in the first 1/3 that are a little redundant for me - re-explaining and re-stating evidence, times of events, etc got a little tiresome. Because of this it was a longer buildup until "it fully got going" for me. Throughout it all, however, I remained impressed that the story was never obvious or predictable. I loved never having any idea of what could be happening or where the story could go. There is a piece of me that wishes this was a little more fast-paced, but then there's another piece that really enjoyed the investigative approach to this murder mystery. I hope to read more Brennan in the future! 3.5 rounded up for GR.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    This one was interesting, the way it was laid out with the podcast, going over events. The way one comment that seemed like a one off lead to another to another, until we had what really went on. By then I was sad for so many of these girls and how they were manipulated. So many bad things didn't have to happen and one thing snowballed into so many others. By the end it was great that there would be closure for many, but still so much needless death. This one was interesting, the way it was laid out with the podcast, going over events. The way one comment that seemed like a one off lead to another to another, until we had what really went on. By then I was sad for so many of these girls and how they were manipulated. So many bad things didn't have to happen and one thing snowballed into so many others. By the end it was great that there would be closure for many, but still so much needless death.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Krissy (books_and_biceps9155)

    Im still unsure how to accurately review this one. I did enjoy aspects of it, however there were things about it I did not enjoy as well. Lets start with the positives first. I love novels that include podcasts/true crime aspects. This one definitely delivered that. It gives you all the podcast behind-the-scenes and also the background and footwork that goes into a podcast. The mystery in the story is also well done. Now, I am not sure if it was because the book is quite long, or there were seve Im still unsure how to accurately review this one. I did enjoy aspects of it, however there were things about it I did not enjoy as well. Lets start with the positives first. I love novels that include podcasts/true crime aspects. This one definitely delivered that. It gives you all the podcast behind-the-scenes and also the background and footwork that goes into a podcast. The mystery in the story is also well done. Now, I am not sure if it was because the book is quite long, or there were several details that were put into the novel. I was unsure who the "killer" actually was until closer to the end. Regan's additional story line was unnecessary but since I enjoyed this tourtured character I also enjoyed the added information regarding her background. Now the not so good. I hate this part. This book TOOK FOREVER to get going. I felt like I was spinning in circles and rereading the same 10 pages over and over again for about 100 pages. I almost DNF'd it. Lucas also could have used a bit more character development. He seemed cold/rigid and I didn't find him all that believable. My last challenge was the ending. I did enjoy the twist however, it was EXTREMELY far fetched. All in all I feel middle of the road about this one.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'?

    Lucas Vega is determined to figure out what happened with Candace Swain. She was murdered when he was a freshman at NAU and now is he doing his senior capstone as a podcast to find out what really happened to her. She was missing a week before her body was found. Even though she was found in the lake, her lungs were filled with chlorinated water. Where was she during that week? Did anyone see her? He's enlisted the help of formal US Marshal Regan Merritt and together they are working hard to sol Lucas Vega is determined to figure out what happened with Candace Swain. She was murdered when he was a freshman at NAU and now is he doing his senior capstone as a podcast to find out what really happened to her. She was missing a week before her body was found. Even though she was found in the lake, her lungs were filled with chlorinated water. Where was she during that week? Did anyone see her? He's enlisted the help of formal US Marshal Regan Merritt and together they are working hard to solve this cold case. He's been trying to hear from her sorority sisters in Sigma Rho, but they have been silenced. Will he find the answers he is looking for? Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this title. This book kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. I was invested in the story and I wanted to know what happened to Candace. The deeper he dug, the more people that ended up dying or getting hurt. Where was Candace during the week she was missing? What was tearing her up inside that she felt so guilty about? There are a million questions that had to be answered and roadblocks around every turn. While there was a slight twist to the story, I could see it coming. It didn't take away from the story at all. There was a quote in the book, that I really loved, "'God made us stewards of the earth, which means more than taking care of what's yours. Give more than you expect to receive, and be thankful for every day you draw breath ...'" This really touched me because we never know what is going on in someone else's life. Tomorrow is never promised and we have to be thankful for each day that we are given a chance to be alive. This is a book I will recommend to others.

  22. 5 out of 5

    B.

    The cover caught my eye at the grocery store and I picked it up. Surprisingly, in an event that was rare before the pandemic and even rarer since it started, I couldn't stop reading. Groceries getting warm in the cart. I tore myself away after the first chapter and popped the book in the cart. I did not regret it. Now, there have been a *LOT* of books published within the past five years that feature podcasts, and let me tell you, I've hated all of them. It's become a sign of a book to avoid, unl The cover caught my eye at the grocery store and I picked it up. Surprisingly, in an event that was rare before the pandemic and even rarer since it started, I couldn't stop reading. Groceries getting warm in the cart. I tore myself away after the first chapter and popped the book in the cart. I did not regret it. Now, there have been a *LOT* of books published within the past five years that feature podcasts, and let me tell you, I've hated all of them. It's become a sign of a book to avoid, unless it's Nightvale, of course. (And it's become a definite "run for the hills and don't look back" sign for BOTM - ick). This book, however, does it right. The story isn't sacrificed for the podcast. The characters are fully fleshed out. There is life outside of the podcast. The podcast is merely used as an additional means of delivering information, not as an excuse for lazy writing (looking at you Night Swim). The psychology matches up to the DSM. The research is meticulous. It was more than I could have ever hoped for. I'll be working on acquiring Brennan's back catalogue this year. This book was a pure gem, and I just had to go down the ice cream aisle in winter to find it. All thanks to a tiny human with a strange little winter craving.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    I'm a huge fan of Allison Brennan and I was very excited to read this new thriller. A podcaster investigating a crime, member of a sorority that could hide secrets, a former marshal still grieving the murder of her son. A small town, plenty of secrets and a lot of people who could be involved and guilty. It was a gripping and riveting read, I was hooked since the first pages and couldn't stop reading till the last pages. There's a lot of unexpected turns, a twisty and dark plot, a solution that was I'm a huge fan of Allison Brennan and I was very excited to read this new thriller. A podcaster investigating a crime, member of a sorority that could hide secrets, a former marshal still grieving the murder of her son. A small town, plenty of secrets and a lot of people who could be involved and guilty. It was a gripping and riveting read, I was hooked since the first pages and couldn't stop reading till the last pages. There's a lot of unexpected turns, a twisty and dark plot, a solution that was not a surprise but somehow surprised me. It's an excellent thriller and I would be glad to read other stories featuring these characters. Highly recommended. Many thanks to MIRA and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura Laufman

    I’m not sure if this closer to a 3 / 3.5 but I’m rounding up because I was pretty invested once the pacing picked up. I do feel that the book could have been cut a down a little, as some parts felt repetitive. Overall though, not a bad way to kick off this reading year.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Wuthering Vines

    Alright, I typically LOVE any type of dark academia read but I have to admit this was a lot more of a slower burn than I hoped for and I did find it a bit too long. That being said, there was still a lot that I enjoyed about this book, especially about it revolving around a podcast! I find that this idea always comes across as entertaining and it adds a whole nother level and layer to the story! As a big fan of The Night Swim and AGGGTM, I was dying for this one to become a new fav. I always love Alright, I typically LOVE any type of dark academia read but I have to admit this was a lot more of a slower burn than I hoped for and I did find it a bit too long. That being said, there was still a lot that I enjoyed about this book, especially about it revolving around a podcast! I find that this idea always comes across as entertaining and it adds a whole nother level and layer to the story! As a big fan of The Night Swim and AGGGTM, I was dying for this one to become a new fav. I always love jumping into a good cold case and this one was certainly intriguing! I definitely can see this one working as a fun series similar to the AGGGTM one! 3.5 stars rounded to 4 for goodreads

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    4 1/2 stars RTC for blog tour. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my earc.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie

    Exposing the truth could get you killed. Big fan of Allison Brennan and how she builds her characters into a thrilling climax. A sorority party three years ago leads to the death of Candace. She was a shinning light on campus. Always involved in doing good and helping others. Her body was found at an area pond. Enter three years later a podcast called the Sorority Murder is revealing truth that was buried and now being uncovered. Lucas Vegas has a personal connection to the podcast he has starte Exposing the truth could get you killed. Big fan of Allison Brennan and how she builds her characters into a thrilling climax. A sorority party three years ago leads to the death of Candace. She was a shinning light on campus. Always involved in doing good and helping others. Her body was found at an area pond. Enter three years later a podcast called the Sorority Murder is revealing truth that was buried and now being uncovered. Lucas Vegas has a personal connection to the podcast he has started. With the help of Regan Merrit, a on leave US Marshall. They begin to piece together what happened with the interaction of callers from the podcast. Somebody knows something but where it will lead. The two leading characters Regan and Lucas are two unique driving force in this thriller. Regan just coming from the break up of her marriage and the death of her son comes back to her hometown. Her story is compelling and redemptive. Lucas has a reason for his obsessions for Candance and solving the murder. He has redeeming quality as well. A fight for justice and redemption, you can never go wrong. A special thank you to Harlequin and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Of this author I've read so far about 4 of her books and out of those books I would say this one might just be my favorite, loved the slow pace of it because it helped bring the story line too life, the characters which showed their strengths and weaknesses, especially the podcast aspect of it and how will the author did that part, plus other thing I loved was the family 's love they had for each other. As for the story itself it was ,a chilling story that will have readers turning the pages to Of this author I've read so far about 4 of her books and out of those books I would say this one might just be my favorite, loved the slow pace of it because it helped bring the story line too life, the characters which showed their strengths and weaknesses, especially the podcast aspect of it and how will the author did that part, plus other thing I loved was the family 's love they had for each other. As for the story itself it was ,a chilling story that will have readers turning the pages to solve the case as well as show the reader you don't will knew a person as well as you think you do.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Geha

    The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan Regan Merritt #1 Regan Merritt is the lead character for new intriguing series. Regan was a US Marshall but left after a personal tragedy that rocked her world. She is grappling with getting her life back in order when the opportunity to work on a cold case presents itself. Working with college student Lucas Vega as he produces a podcast dealing with the death of a female student three years before is just what she needs to sink her teeth into…for the moment. The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan Regan Merritt #1 Regan Merritt is the lead character for new intriguing series. Regan was a US Marshall but left after a personal tragedy that rocked her world. She is grappling with getting her life back in order when the opportunity to work on a cold case presents itself. Working with college student Lucas Vega as he produces a podcast dealing with the death of a female student three years before is just what she needs to sink her teeth into…for the moment. What s he will do afterward will probably come to light as the series develops. What I liked: * Regan: divorced, dealing with loss, a bit lost, searching for what to do next, intelligent, police savvy, great investigative skills, family oriented, protective, interesting – eager to know more about her * Lucas: young, intense, forensic student, motivated, eager, has a deeper personal reason for the podcast and choice of murder victim chosen * Lizzie: college student and friend of Lucas * Regan’s father and what was written about her brother and others in her immediate family – hope to see more of them * The idea of the podcast – have enjoyed this as part of books in the past * Wondering about what Regan will do in the future…there seems to be more than one option * Henry Clarkson: professor and friend of Regan’s father * Jesse: Regan’s friend and a person that may support her and show up in future books * Tripp: ex-military, friend of her brother’s, in search of what he will do next, potential love interest for Regan * The premise for the murder mystery: sorority, a secret, teasers, red herrings, and such * That the book ended with the case solved and strings pulled together and knotted tightly * Knowing there will be more books as this is a series What I didn’t like: * The murderer…probably a psychopath…cold blooded murderer without a conscience Comment: Knowing that I read an advanced readers’ copy of the book may mean (hopefully) that the book was tightened up and pages reduced before publication. Why? I found myself skimming through parts that slowed me down on the way to the finale and felt that a bit of editing might have improved the pace of the book. Did I enjoy this book? Yes Would I read more in this series? Yes Thank you to NetGalley and HQN-Mira for the ARC – This is my honest review. 3 due to my tendency to skim through parts of the book 4 overall rating 5 because it was worth printing and a good plot/idea with great characters 4 Stars

  30. 5 out of 5

    Robin Loves Reading

    The death of a college student. Another college student wanting answers. A cold case. Why is Lucas Vega so determined to uncover facts pertaining to Candace Swain's death? Lucas is a criminology student with a college podcast. His podcast is the vehicle he uses to exercise his vested interest into a case that has dried up with little or no clues. Lucas is not alone in his endeavor, however. He ends up working alongside Regan Merritt, a former US Marshal. What is it that draws Lucas so into the cr The death of a college student. Another college student wanting answers. A cold case. Why is Lucas Vega so determined to uncover facts pertaining to Candace Swain's death? Lucas is a criminology student with a college podcast. His podcast is the vehicle he uses to exercise his vested interest into a case that has dried up with little or no clues. Lucas is not alone in his endeavor, however. He ends up working alongside Regan Merritt, a former US Marshal. What is it that draws Lucas so into the crime? Will he and Regan be able to find out what really happened to Candace? As Lucas does his podcast he gets more than a few callers who are providing tips. However, not everyone is willing to identify themselves, but slowly pieces of this confusing puzzle begin to fall into place. In fact, the deeper Lucas and Megan dig into the case, the clearer it becomes as to why the murder was never solved. Will secrets and lies bring about his undoing? Will danger face Lucas before the truth is finally told? The Sorority Murder is a stellar read by Allison Brennan. The drama, twists and turns, as well as the exciting conclusion, captured my attention as I felt I was walking alongside Lucas and Regan as they peeled back layer after layer in this intriguing case. Imagining myself listening to the podcast late into the night kept me riveted to this book. Many thanks to MIRA and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

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