• Title: Nine Lives (Ray Logue #2)
  • Author: Kevin McManus
  • Publisher: SpellBound Books Ltd. on July 23, 2021
  • Genre: Crime Thriller
  • Pages: 222
  • Formats Available: Paperback & Digital
  • Rating: 5/5

Trigger Warnings: Murder, Graphic Violence

Many thanks to Kevin McManus for providing me with a digital copy of Nine Lives with a request for an honest review. Also, thanks to Zooloo’s Book Tours for inviting me to the tour and providing me with the content for this post.

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About Nine Lives

In Western Ireland in 1979, Hazel Devereaux, a student of Trinity College in Dublin, goes missing while working at a summer job. Six months later her body is discovered in a shallow grave. A line from a poem by Edgar Allan Poe entitled “A Paean” is discovered in an envelope at the house Hazel was renting. 

Could this be a calling card of the murderer?

Thirty years later, Detective Ray Logue discovers that a series of murders in Boston appear to be connected to the killings in 1979. Each victim also received a line from the poem by Edgar Allan Poe delivered to their homes. 

It becomes evident that a serial killer is at work and has claimed seven lives so far. 

The murderer kills two victims every ten years, always on a year ending in nine and always on the same dates in June and December. If he follows the same pattern, he will kill again in less than a fortnight. 

Ray Logue is dispatched to Boston to work alongside Detective Olivia Callaghan and Inspector Sam Harper to discover the identity of the murderer and to stop him before he strikes again. Logue’s ‘bull in a china shop’ policing method brings him into conflict with Sam Harper’s more calculated and measured approach. 

As a result, trying to work together becomes almost as challenging as catching the serial killer. 

But catch a killer they must.

Provided by Zooloo’s Book Tours for Tour Use

My Review

The second book of the Ray Logue series, Nine Lives, is a crime reader’s dream. Kevin McManus offers an excellent follow-up to Death Rains Down. If anything, this novel is even better. I will never figure out how McManus fits so much adrenaline-filled magic in such a short volume.

In 1979, young detective Jim Mulcahy stood at the foot of a shallow grave where a young woman’s body lies. Jim can’t hold in his lunch from the smell. While Jim runs headfirst into the investigation, he hits dead end after dead end. But, when he starts to get close, his supervisor angrily puts a stop to the whole investigation. The case goes cold until police find the body of the man who disappeared with the young woman found earlier. It is now 2009, and Ray Logue gets called in to handle the case, but to do so, he must travel to the US to get answers. Ray finds himself assigned to a unit investigating murders with the same MO as the 1979 case. The killer is now ready to slay his 9th victim. Will Ray and company find the killer before it is too late?

I found Ray different in this novel. In Death Rains Down, he was more of a loose cannon. In Nine Lives, Ray seems a bit more toned down, but not in a bad way. Ray still carries his temper, but he doesn’t fly off the handle as much as he did before. Though, Ray made me angry when he hooked up with a cop on the US unit. He left a girlfriend at home, and cheating on her pushed my buttons. That he would cheat doesn’t fit with his love ‘em and leave ‘em personality. 

Losing the loose cannon trait behind made Ray feel much more real to me. He wasn’t rash or even all that bold. Ray was calculating and more on his game this time. It’s possible he mellowed a bit after he started his relationship with the girl back home. Regardless of the reason, I liked him better. 

The Boston setting didn’t bring as much joy as the hills of Ireland, but I guess I can’t have beauty with my murder every time. The college sounded phenomenal with its early Gothic architecture. Though, the newer buildings held no interest. The rest of Boston seemed too dark and dingy, much like any other city in America. Though, the fishing shack held some appeal.

One last thing, I ordinarily abhor cliffhangers. They feel unfinished and lazy to me. However, the cliffhanger in this book does exactly what a good cliffhanger should do. It makes me want to read the next book right this minute. I need to know what happens next. It doesn’t feel unfinished at all. I don’t want to give it away, but let me say it is a good one. You won’t hear that from me very often, but I promise you, it is good.

I award Nine Lives 5 out of 5 stars. The storytelling is first-rate. The slight personality shift in Ray makes it even better. I am more than eager to read the next book because I have to know what happens next! I have several hunches, but I need that book in my hand. If you love crime thrillers, you will enjoy getting to know Ray Logue.

See My Review for Death Rains Down, the First Ray Volume of the Ray Logue Thriller Series

About the Author – Kevin McManus

Kevin McManus is an Irish author. He primarily writes Crime Fiction novels but also delves into writing poetry and short stories. He lives in County Leitrim in Western Ireland with his wife Mary and their dog Jack. He works by day as a secondary school teacher. Kevin has produced a series of novels featuring an Irish Detective called Ray Logue and a series based around a New York Detective called John Morrigan. His debut novel published in 2016 was “The Whole of the Moon”. In a previous incarnation, Kevin was a bass guitarist in several rock bands for over twenty years. Kevin is a supporter of Aston Villa FC which has caused him to age prematurely. 

Author Contact Links: Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

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