Title: The Dancing Girls
Publication Day: 15/05/2019
Author: M.M. Chouinard
The light in her wide brown eyes dimmed as she drew her last breath. She might have been beautiful lying there on the floor, if it wasn’t for the purple marks on her neck and the angry red line on her finger where her wedding band used to be…
When Jeanine Hammond is found dead in a hotel in the picture-perfect town of Oakhust, newly-promoted Detective Jo Fournier is thrown into a disturbing case. Who would murder this shy, loving wife and leave her body posed like a ballerina?
Jo wants to know why Jeanine’s husband is so controlling about money, and where Jeanine’s wedding ring is, but before she and her team can get close to the truth, another woman is found strangled in a hotel, arms placed gracefully above her head like a dancer.
While digging through old case files, Jo makes a terrifying link to a series of cold cases: each victim bears the same strangulation marks. But the FBI won’t take Jo seriously, and if she disobeys direct orders by investigating the killings outside of her jurisdiction, it will mean the end of the career she’s already sacrificed so much for, even her relationship.
Just as Jo is beginning to lose hope, she finds messages on the victims’ computers that make her question whether these small-town women were hiding big lies. Jo thinks this is the missing link between the victims, but she knows the killer is moments away from selecting his next victim. Will it lead her to the most twisted killer of her career in time, or will another innocent life be lost?
An absolutely unputdownable and brilliant new crime thriller series that fans of Robert Dugoni, Lisa Regan and Melinda Leigh will devour in one sitting.
The Dancing Girls by M.M Chouinard is the first book in the Jo Fournier series and I have to say I was completely and thoroughly hooked right from the start.
Jo Fournier is the newly appointed Lieutenant thrust right into the murder of Jeanine Hammond. Found murdered in a hotel room, it is up to Jo to find the killer responsible for Jeanine’s death. But with no clues to go on, finding a murderer seems more like finding a needle in a haystack. As the months go by with no leads, the Hammond murder looks like it about to turn into a cold case, that is until another victim turns up with striking similarities to the Hammond case. Is there a serial killer on the loose targeting married women? Jo is convinced there is one killer responsible, but no one believes her, not even the FBI. Will Jo be able to solve the case before more dead women start showing up?
Holy Moly! This book was intense and definitely something different from the norm in the thriller genre. Chouinard really delves deep into the mind and modus operandi of our killer. While we learn quite early on who the killer is it was interesting to see how his mind worked and a good part of the story is told through his point of view which I found to be really interesting and refreshing. There are multiple POV’s told throughout this story and something that I enjoyed was the victim’s point of view as well. There is such a huge difference with a killing told off screen as opposed to getting to know the victim where one could feel sympathy or sorrow for a character.
Also, I think we just scratched the surface with Jo. As newly appointed Lieutenant, we can see just how much she missed being involved in crime scenes like she was when she was a detective. Jo is not great with relationships and she is practically married to her job. But, she sinks her teeth into the new case and is determined to find answers and to at least bring some closure to the victims families.
The story is pretty fast paced and kinda creepy for me reading how the killer finds his victims. Plus, there is a major major twist I definitely did not see coming. It was absolutely brilliant and original. I admit that I really loved it, but at the same time…wow that was really messed up! I was mindblown!
I devoured this book in a matter of hours! The Dancing Girls is intense and shocking. I am definitely looking forward to learning more about Jo in the next book in the series. I highly recommend this five star read.
M.M. Chouinard’s first fiction story was published in her local paper when she was eight, and she fell in love with Agatha Christie novels not long after. While pursuing a Ph.D in psychology and helping to found the first U.S. research university of the new millenium, the stories kept rattling around inside her skull, demanding to come out. For sanity’s sake, she released them. She’s currently at work on her seventh novel.
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