Thrillers come in several different genres and two that I enjoy are crime thrillers and legal thrillers. Both Crimson Summer and The Murder Rule are by authors I enjoy and these two books did not disappoint. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

Crimson Summer (Amy Larson & Hunter Forrest FBI #2) by Heather Graham, Eva Kaminsky (Narrator)

Published April 5th 2022 by Harlequin Audio, MIRA

4.5 Stars:

Crimson Summer is the second book in the crime thriller series, Amy Larson & Hunter Forrest FBI. Although each case is solved before the book ends, I recommend your read this series in order. FDLE Special Agent Amy Larson and FBI Special Agent Hunter Forrest are on vacation when they receive a small red toy horse figurine delivered to their room. When they return to Florida, they are called to a massacre in the Everglades. It is staged to look like a native killing but the weapons were inconsistent with the indigenous people in the area. While sifting through the crime scene, Amy finds a small red horse, the calling card of an apocalypse cult that Amy and Hunter have been investigating. They now know that the cult they shut down is only the beginning. As more people are killed, Larson & Forrest are racing against the clock to find out who the mastermind is in order to stop the killing.

This is a fast paced story with a lot of twists and turns. Between Florida, New York, and Chicago we see Amy and Hunter traveling to crime scenes using their skills of questioning, solving puzzles and observation to begin to uncover what is happening. Although there are some brutal crimes and danger, I wouldn’t classify this as a dark story. Amy and Hunter are involved in a relationship, and this keeps it lighter. The overall story arc of the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” is very interesting and has had me doing some research of my own. Of course, it also means there are going to be two more books in the series. Although I feel these books are more crime thriller, there is also a romantic suspense storyline. I like their relationship and how it progresses without overpowering the story. I did figure out who the puppet master was before the final, dangerous showdown, but only just. An excellent story that has me ready for book three, which should be the black horse. Eva Kaminsky narrates this story and does a great job giving voice to both Amy and Hunter. She uses expression and tone to add suspense. I enjoyed both reading and listening to the audiobook, although I think my enjoyment kicked up a notch while listening. If you enjoy crime thrillers with a splash of romance, then I definitely recommend you pick this book up.

The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan, Narrated by Kate Orsini, Sophie Amoss, and Michael Crouch

Expected publication: May 10th 2022 by HarperAudio

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Many people are familiar with Dervla McTiernan’s Cormac Reilly series, but I think this story was one of her best. The Murder Rule introduces us to Hannah, a law student, who has just joined an Innocence Program as an intern at University in Virginia. There is one case they are working on to get a man out of prison while he awaits a new trial. Hannah will so whatever she can to work on that case, but not to save him, to keep him behind bars.

I really enjoyed this story, especially Hannah. She has information from a journal belonging to her mother that shows what a despicable man they are trying to free. As hard as she tries to sabotage the case, she does do what is right and her tenacity and unconventional ideas actually help the team. This book was gripping from the first page. There were twists and turns, red herrings as well as clues and information that had to be puzzled out and pieced together. The final twists were surprising, but tied all the loose ends together. I had heard of the Innocence Project, but I didn’t know there were university law programs that also ran programs. I always find how they work to gather evidence and free wrongly imprisoned people interesting. I really enjoyed this story and recommend it to those who like legal thrillers. I always enjoy audiobooks that have an ensemble cast and The Murder Rule has a great one. I have listened to Kate Orsini, Sophie Amoss, and Michael Crouch before and they didn’t disappoint with this book. Their voices, expression, tone and pacing all added to my enjoyment of this audiobook.