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The Stone Secret
Amanda McKinney. HH Tisevich, $9.99 e-book (250p) ASIN B0C5RW6J88
McKinney (The Mad Women) keeps her foot on the gas in this gripping psychological thriller centered on a decades-old murder. Twenty years after carpenter Rhett Cohen was convicted of killing Marjorie Stone, Marjorie’s daughter, Sylvia, receives an anonymous letter that suggests he may be innocent. Having testified against Cohen when she was a girl, Sylvia, who’s now an unemployed journalist, sees her doubts—and fears—stoked by further middle-of-the-night home deliveries, which include a series of cryptically numbered notes that culminate with an envelope containing a letter promising “You are next” and Marjorie’s blood-stained necklace. Sylvia reports the deliveries to the police, who help her ascertain that the numbers relate to her mother’s time of death, and inform her that the bloody necklace went missing from Marjorie’s corpse 20 years ago. Terrified her life might be in danger, Sylvia resolves to reinvestigate her mother’s murder, with the help of an unexpected partner—Cohen, who’s just been paroled and is eager to clear his name. McKinney elicits delicious tension from the uneasy alliance between Sylvia and Cohen, and keeps readers guessing straight through to the violent and shocking denouement. Minette Walters fans will be especially riveted. (Self-published)

This review has been updated with further information.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 04/05/2024