She threw open the door, running to the crib. When she looked inside, she gasped. The world around her went silent. Inside, there was nothing but a small stuffed elephant. Where was her baby?
When young, single mother Hannah is found murdered by the banks of a twisting Oklahoma creek, her one-year-old daughter sleeping in a stroller near her body, the small town of Dead Woman Crossing reels in horror.
Detective Kimberley King, recently relocated from New York to Oklahoma, with her young daughter Jessica, can’t ignore the similarity of Hannah’s death to the case of Katie James, the woman that the town of Dead Woman Crossing is named after. Katie was murdered in front of her small daughter in 1905, on the banks of the same creek, and it seems that someone is drawing inspiration from the crime. Could this killer be a copycat?
But as she interviews suspects, Kimberley is met with blank faces and closed lips. In a small town, people won’t talk and when she pursues a promising lead, her own family turn their back on her. Kimberley isn’t afraid to ask questions, but when she receives a threatening note, she realises that, as a single mother to a young daughter, she might be putting herself dangerously in the killer’s sights …
A gripping, atmospheric crime thriller inspired by true events, about a town on the edge of collapse and a murder that shakes the community. Dead Woman Crossing is perfect for fans of Rachel Caine, Lisa Regan and Jane Harper.
Wanting to give her infant daughter, Jessica, a better life, NYPD Detective Kimberley King packs up her tiny New York City apartment and moves to a sprawling farm in Dead Woman Crossing, Oklahoma to be closer to family. Kimberley will be the new chief deputy in the small town working under Sheriff Sam Walker. Dead Woman Crossing got its name from a 1905 unsolved murder. Creepy right? Kimberley hopes for a better future in a town where all one has to worry about is the occasional break in, DUI’s and wildlife calls. Little did Kimberley know that within the first few days of starting her new position, there would be another murder remeniscent of the unsolved case from long ago. Is there a copycat killer wreaking havoc in her small town? Kimberley vows to find the killer, but when the killer has his sights on Kimberley and her baby daughter, she will fight tooth and nail for her family’s safety.
Dead Woman crossing by J.R. Adler is the first book in the Detective Kimberley King series and it is such a great start to the series. Adler really gives a detailed picturesque view of Dead Woman Crossing almost to the point of making you feel as if you are in the town yourself witnessing everything. It also sets the scene of what it is like to live in a sleepy and peaceful town quite different from the hustle and bustle of NYC. The town is so small there really isn’t even a population count.
I would say the first third of the book centers around Kimberley, the town and the people as Kimberley gets acclimated to her surroundings and co-workers while renewing a relationship with her mother, Nicole and her stepfather, David. There is kind of a central theme running throughout the book and its views on women especially from the men in town. I just wanted to punch half the men in the face, but probably because I am a Jersey girl. It also makes me wonder if a lot of small town’s in the USA may hold similar backwater views. There is no doubt it’s definitely a simpler way of living and holding on to old world views.
Once The murder occurs, the book really picks up speed as Kimberley, Sam and the rest of the officers race against time to find a killer in the mist. Kimberley, very much an outsider, has a tough time getting the townspeople to speak to her and many seem to be hiding secrets. On top of that, Kimberley feels that maybe the other officers may be a bit biased as they know everyone from town, which makes finding the killer that much harder for Kimberley. Kimberley does not let that stop her though and vows to find out who is responsible and make them pay regardless if it is someone well loved in the community or not.
I absolutely loved Kimberley. She is a great mother and will do anything for her precious little girl. She has a big heart with a hard exterior shell. We get flashbacks of her time on the NYPD and one of her cases she was never able to solve. There was a serial killer she was not able to catch and it plays on her mind constantly. I am really hoping maybe we can hear more of this serial killer in one of the next books in the series? Or maybe he makes an appearance somewhere. Oh boy! We also get background on her family life growing up which was not really the best and while she holds some animosity towards her mother, Kimberley is willing to give her a chance to repair their relationship. Plus, her mother is great with baby Jessica. My oh My! What can I say about Sam Walker? I am hoping for a potential love interest for Kimberley. Walker is a bit of a mystery in the book and little by little we find out what is behind his sometimes gruff exterior. I also loved Barb, the secretary/baker/grandmotherly secretary at the sheriff’s office. She is a definite staple in town and quite efficient helping the team. I can;t wait to read more about her.
Dead Woman Crossing is a read I wholeheartedly enjoyed. Adler has a knack for drawing you into the story with her detailed fleshed out characters. masterful descriptions and beautiful scenery. I am definitely looking forward to book two.