Thomas Kies | Random Road

random road thomas kies

The Book: 

Random Road by Thomas Kies
Published April 13th 2021 by Poisoned Pen Press
Date read: May 14, 2021

The Characters: 

Genie, crime reporter

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

The Plot (from Goodreads):

Veteran reporter Geneva Chase is at the end of her professional rope. Battling alcoholism and bad choices, she’s lost every major news job she’s had; working at her hometown newspaper is her last chance to redeem herself–and now the paper’s future is in doubt.

And then she lands the story of a lifetime: Six nude bodies are found hacked to pieces in a Queen Anne mansion on the coast of Long Island Sound. The sensational headline is picked up by the metro papers, and Geneva is back in the game, using her reporter’s nose to sniff out the secrets of Sheffield’s rich and entitled citizens. As her investigation leads her deeper into dangerous waters, her toxic affair with a married man and her inability to get sober threaten to undo everything she has worked so hard to achieve–and not everyone is thrilled to have a reporter digging up secrets that might be better left buried…

Click here for book spoilers for Random Road
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Random Road, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist:

Genie’s love interest dies in a car crash and she gets custody of his daughter. 

The Ending:

The killers were the two high school boys. They started doing B&E’s with a friend to earn a little extra cash, copying the Home Alone break-ins. They stumbled into the swinger orgy unexpectedly. One of the swingers was a teacher that one of the boys was in love with, so he threw a tantrum with a samurai sword and killed them all.

Okay shameless plug for my Instagram account, but I am OBSESSED with this picture I took last weekend in Zion:

The Review: 

In this debut novel, we meet Genie Chase–a crime reporter with a serious drinking problem. Despite her vices, she’s great at her job, and is covering a case where six naked adults were murdered in a home.

The case was interesting, and I enjoyed the social commentary that came with the topic of the murder case (being intentionally vague to avoid spoilers). However, the case kind of took a backseat to learning about Geneva’s life and her baggage. This was a good set up novel for what I expect to be a very interesting series. Normally crime books like this are more plot-driven, but this one had a lot of character development.

I really liked the crime reporter point of view. I’m not sure I’ve read many books from the POV of the reporter–the protagonist is usually the detective or the PI. So I found this to be a refreshing new angle.

My biggest issue with the book was that I found Geneva’s relationship to be a little unbelievable. I’ll drop a hidden spoiler review below, but the pacing just felt off to me!

Click here for spoiler review thoughts
Uhm, how long were Geneva and Kevin dating? A couple weeks? I’m not sure how long the case took, but the entire relationship was within the span of the investigation (not to mention Geneva cheating on him and constantly convincing him to drink more). And then she ends up with custody of his kid? I would certainly be fighting that if I were the aunt. I get that there was a lot of background to pack into one book in order to prepare the reader for the next book, but I feel like the pacing of the relationship could have been done a little more smoothly.

Overall, there was a lot of background to get through in this book, but it was laid out in a very compelling way. I’m interested to see where Geneva goes next!

random road thomas kies

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