Are you a true crime podcast listener? If so, this book is a must read!
Lucas isn't just interested in the death of Candace, he's obsessed. This obsession leads to the creation of a podcast. The podcast leads to new tips, and ignites a fire in Lucas to solve the murder. But why?
Regan is pulled in as a guest speaker on the podcast and finds herself pulled into the investigation, and questioning Lucas' motives for finding the killer. As things unfold and they get closer to solving everything, buried secrets become revealed.
I loved the way Lucas and Regan interact, and how they piece things together. Creepy, possible in real-life, and thrilling are all adjectives I'm using to describe Allison Brennan's newest book.
Lucas Vega is starting a podcast for his senior thesis and the reason for his podcast is to dive into a cold case from the university of a senior sorority girl who went missing for over a week and then her body was found. And Lucas hopes that a podcast will jolt someone's memory and some clues can come out and the mystery of her disappearance and murder can be solved.
Early on in the book, Lucas is paired with a retired US marshal, Regan, and I was glad that he had a professional by his side during the investigation, I think it helped with the clue gathering and processing. I love when the person investigating is a novice, but I definitely liked that he had a professional by his side when this case went crazy. I also loved Regan as a character on her own. She had a past that she was dealing with and her own secrets and issues.
The other thing that I loved about this book was the setting. I love a book that takes place on a college campus and while I wasn't a part of greek life, I still love to read a book that takes place in a sorority or fraternity. I liked that while there were current college students in this book there were plenty of characters that were no longer in college and I think it elevated the story.
I have read many of Allison Brennan books, both stand alones and series and she is so good with characters and plot. She creates characters that a reader can follow almost anywhere and then she creates a plot and crafts scenes that make you want to keep reading and reading until the mystery is solved!
This was like a episodes of your favorite crime tv. The pacing was quick, there was surprising reveals, and it keeps you engaged from page 1. I thought the college setting was a great choice and I will always love a podcast element in mysteries.
Lucas Vega is hoping to uncover answers in the cold case of Candace Swain, a fellow college student murdered three years earlier. A homeless man was the main suspect, but Lucas has evidence that suggests otherwise. So far, he’s been railroaded by Candace’s sorority sisters and the Flagstaff Police, but he hopes with the help of Former US Marshall, Regan Meritt, he’ll be to get answers. Lucas has a personal stake in finding the truth, one he doesn’t want to share just yet.
I really liked Regan and Lucas and they made a good investigative team. I think a podcast, so popular right now, would be an excellent way to propel a cold case back into the spotlight. In this case it really got the attention of the community putting both Lucas and Regan in danger as they edge closer to the truth.
I’m a big fan of Allison Brennan’s mysteries and I’m always eager for her next release. Even though it was easy to guess at the identity of the killer I was sucked into the story eager to find out the motivations, what exactly happened and what the killer would do next! Regan Meritt was a confident, interesting female lead, coping with a personal tragedy, back in her hometown regrouping. She’s on leave with the US Marshal Department, and things were not all wrapped with her story. There was also a potential romance. I wonder if Ms. Brennan intends to continue her story in future books. I look forward to solving more mysteries with Regan if that’s the case!
"It's always the right time to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King Jr.
Oh I love this book. This fast-paced gripping mystery thriller hooked me from the get go.
A podcast with the goal to solve a cold case about a murder of one of sorority girls. It's was supposed to be a capstone project for Lucas a forensic college student, it's kinda harmless, because it's just a podcast, but when threats coming and some trying to stop the podcast and piqued a former US Marshal interest, it seems like Lucas is kicking a hornet's nest, someone doesn't want the truth to come out, someone will do anything to keep the truth hidden. Oh yeah this one definitely my cup of tea. I love the mystery, all the secrets, the police procedural like (all the interviews and chasing clues), the background story of Regan the former US Marshal, and all the actions that got my heart racing. It does like watching Law and Order as someone mention it in one of the reviews of this book.
This book also bring all the feelings, from the suspense to the heartbreaking feelings of Regan's past and the victim's feelings. This book is multiple POV, from Regan, Lucas, some of the victims and the suspect. There's last minute event from the victim POV that really intense that brings the chill to the bone feelings.
As for the characters. It is about Lucas's podcast but Regan took the center stage, I really adore her, I pictured Mariska Hargitay as her, so yeah a strong, smart, fearless heroine.
Great mystery, superb suspense, wonderful heroine, definitely highly recommended.
First, please tell me this is only book one of a Regan Merritt series, because she's fantastic! We got a glimpse of her backstory, but I want to know more. I want to see her solve more cases, and I want to see Lucas Vega as her sidekick. I loved every bit of The Sorority Murder. I was lucky enough to also have an early audio, and both are just so good! Was it a tiny bit predictable? Yes. Did I care? No, because it was thoroughly entertaining.
Thank you for the opportunity to review!
Link to Instagram post:
Lucas has created a podcast about a true crime that occurred on his college campus. He has lots of information about the murder of Candace Swain. And he knows someone out there is hiding something. He brings on former US Marshal Regan Merrit. These two hit a nerve and before long both are in danger…but, there are more secrets to be revealed…you must read this to find out.
Lucas is like a dog with a bone…he is obsessed. I loved his tenacity. You just know he is hiding something! Then there is Regan. She is one of my favorite characters. She has a past she is running from, well, more like trying to hide from. This case brings her back to life and her instincts kick in.
This is not my favorite Allison Brennan book. I enjoy her books but this one was a bit slow at the first. But, the further you get into the story you realize it is a slow build to a sensational ending you will not soon forget!
Need a book with a dramatic ending…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!
I’m always a fan of when a mystery novel uses a podcast. I find it interesting how the author is able to use a podcast to further advance the developments of an unsolved case (in this novel, a murder). The Sorority Murder was no exception.
I wasn’t a big fan of Lucas and his reasons for doing the podcast. It seemed like he was always hiding something and not telling the full truth. I really liked how the author added the character, Regan, a former US marshal. Regan really added to the novel both in her experience and her maturity. It really took the novel up a level and the premise didn’t seem so far fetched.
It did take a while for the novel to get going, but once it did it was really exciting and I was curious on how Candice’s disappearance would tie in with her murder. I did find the ending (and the killer) predictable, so I was hoping for more of a twist ending.
3 calculators out of a potential 5. Really liked the use of the podcast and how Lucas was able to get guests to call in and give anonymous information about the murder.
Thank you to Netgallery and HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing (U.S. & Canada) for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Utilizing a podcast throughout a book is quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to read a thriller.
Candace Swan left a sorority party and was never seen alive again. Her body was found two weeks later and the case remained unsolved.
Lucas Vega interns at the Medical examiners office where he uncovers some new information that no one seems interested in. His obsession with the case grows and he grows it into a Podcast. Enlisting the help of a federal Marshall they start investigating the calls that come into the podcast, until one caller ends up dead. Fast paced and thrilling their lives quickly are on the line as they work to solve this cold case.
Secrets, betrayals and double crosses at every turn prove secrets don’t stay secrets forever and sometimes protecting that secret can lead to death.
Thank you #harlequin and #NetGalley for an advanced copy
The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan
Regan Merritt #1
Regan Merritt is the lead character for new intriguing series. Regan was a US Marshall but left after a personal tragedy that rocked her world. She is grappling with getting her life back in order when the opportunity to work on a cold case presents itself. Working with college student Lucas Vega as he produces a podcast dealing with the death of a female student three years before is just what she needs to sink her teeth into…for the moment. What s he will do afterward will probably come to light as the series develops.
What I liked:
* Regan: divorced, dealing with loss, a bit lost, searching for what to do next, intelligent, police savvy, great investigative skills, family oriented, protective, interesting – eager to know more about her
* Lucas: young, intense, forensic student, motivated, eager, has a deeper personal reason for the podcast and choice of murder victim chosen
* Lizzie: college student and friend of Lucas
* Regan’s father and what was written about her brother and others in her immediate family – hope to see more of them
* The idea of the podcast – have enjoyed this as part of books in the past
* Wondering about what Regan will do in the future…there seems to be more than one option
* Henry Clarkson: professor and friend of Regan’s father
* Jesse: Regan’s friend and a person that may support her and show up in future books
* Tripp: ex-military, friend of her brother’s, in search of what he will do next, potential love interest for Regan
* The premise for the murder mystery: sorority, a secret, teasers, red herrings, and such
* That the book ended with the case solved and strings pulled together and knotted tightly
* Knowing there will be more books as this is a series
What I didn’t like:
* The murderer…probably a psychopath…cold blooded murderer without a conscience
Comment: Knowing that I read an advanced readers’ copy of the book may mean (hopefully) that the book was tightened up and pages reduced before publication. Why? I found myself skimming through parts that slowed me down on the way to the finale and felt that a bit of editing might have improved the pace of the book.
Did I enjoy this book? Yes
Would I read more in this series? Yes
Thank you to NetGalley and HQN-Mira for the ARC – This is my honest review.
3 due to my tendency to skim through parts of the book
4 overall rating
5 because it was worth printing and a good plot/idea with great characters
Loved it! I am hoping this is the start to a Regan Merritt series! Lucas Vega is a senior college student and needing to do his capstone and decided to do a podcast about a murder of a sorority student from three years ago that was never solved. He has had an interest in this case though never told anyone exactly what. When his advisor introduced him to Regan Merritt, a former US Marshall, she was not sure she was going to help him until she listened to his first two podcasts and was intrigued. After talking to him and with her dad, the former Sheriff of the county, Regan decided to be interviewed and to help Lucas. Over the next couple weeks they unravel the cold case and uncover another unsolved death that may have been the catalyst.
The Sorority Murder is a thriller that is based around a podcast that was created for a capstone project and to help try to solve a mysterious death of a Sorority girl.
Lucas used to be tutored by Candace until she goes missing after a sorority party . There are theories that a homeless guy she was friendly with killed her but she had also been fighting with an old best friend/sorority sister so no one really had any solid proof what happened.
Regan returned to town to be with her father after the death of her child and her divorce. She hears about Lucas’s podcast and decides to try and help if she can.
Allison Brennan has created a wonderful thriller that as usual keeps you entertained until the end.
Thank you Netgalley and publisher for an arc for my honest opinion.
Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for the ARC.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars
I love true crime podcasts, especially when they are used as storytelling devices in thrillers. The Sorority Murder is about a popular sorority girl, an unsolved murder, and a campus podcast. Lucas is obsessed with the murder of Candace Swain and eventually finds a new clue in the case while interning at the medical examiner’s. The police are not interested, so Lucas starts his own podcast to share his findings. As Lucas begins to uncover more and more about the case and Candace, he finds himself, and those around him, in danger.
This was such a fun storyline and I really enjoyed how Brennan utilized the podcast element. I was hooked from the first page and couldn’t wait to get all of the pieces of the puzzle. The Sorority Murder was a highly entertaining whodunit with an excellent mystery at it’s center.
ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Don't let the title fool you! This isn't a low budget teenage slasher film.......or book. Instead it is a very convoluted story of a murder or two. Lucas is working on his senior project and has decided to do a podcast looking in to the cold case murder of a sorority girl that took place three years prior. This sets up a quality suspense story that could have taken place in any environment, but place it on a college campus and in the Greek system and you had a layer of loyalty and secrecy. Unlike several of the podcast based storylines that seem to be popular right now, the podcast was just a part of the overall story this time. I liked that. I also like the somewhat excessive dive into some of the characters' pasts. This almost felt like it could be the first in a series featuring Rachel, the former US Marshall. I am not sure the other characters could support a series but she would definitely be a solid central character.
The death of a college student. Another college student wanting answers. A cold case. Why is Lucas Vega so determined to uncover facts pertaining to Candace Swain's death?
Lucas is a criminology student with a college podcast. His podcast is the vehicle he uses to exercise his vested interest into a case that has dried up with little or no clues. Lucas is not alone in his endeavor, however. He ends up working alongside Regan Merritt, a former US Marshal. What is it that draws Lucas so into the crime? Will he and Regan be able to find out what really happened to Candace?
As Lucas does his podcast he gets more than a few callers who are providing tips. However, not everyone is willing to identify themselves, but slowly pieces of this confusing puzzle begin to fall into place. In fact, the deeper Lucas and Megan dig into the case, the clearer it becomes as to why the murder was never solved. Will secrets and lies bring about his undoing? Will danger face Lucas before the truth is finally told?
The Sorority Murder is a stellar read by Allison Brennan. The drama, twists and turns, as well as the exciting conclusion, captured my attention as I felt I was walking alongside Lucas and Regan as they peeled back layer after layer in this intriguing case. Imagining myself listening to the podcast late into the night kept me riveted to this book.
Many thanks to MIRA and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
Combing two of my favorite things, an academic setting and a true crime podcast, The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan was one I knew would be a must read for me.
Coming home from a sorority party the campus golden girl disappears and is found murdered several days later but her killer is never found and it becomes a cold case. Fast forward three years later and Lucas Vega has created a true crime podcast reviving around the murder. With the help from the shows listeners and a US Marshall on leave Lucas uncovers new information that points him in the direction of the killer.
Overall I enjoyed this one. I loved the setting and the two lead characters were well drawn with interesting back stories. I did think it lagged a bit in the beginning and took a little while to get into, but once I did I was fully engaged. The use of a true crime podcast to propel the case forward made for a really interesting premise and was easily my favorite part of the book. The mystery itself was effective with just enough clues to keep the reader guessing. So if you are a true crime junkie and thriller lover you might want to give this one a whirl. This was my first book by Allison Brennan but based on the overall enjoyment of this one I plan to read more.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for an advanced copy of this book.
I don’t know how I have never read an Allison Brennan book (that I can remember) before when I am such a hard core mystery/thriller lover, but now I regret not having read them sooner. The Sorority Murder sounded like something I was going to enjoy based on the synopsis, but I greatly underestimated how much I would enjoy it.
The book follows Lucas Vega as he does his senior year capstone project on a 3 year old cold case right at his very university. He is lucky enough to get the help of Regan, ex U.S. Marshal, and they go on a whirlwind trip of investigating, interviewing, and solving this insane mystery.
I love this book. It hooked me early on and I literally couldn’t put it down. I was reading when I shouldn’t have been reading and I was reading while dropping my book on my face at night because I just wanted to see what would happen next. The story was not rushed, nor was it too long. The details were just enough to leave me with the ability to create possibilities in my head on what was happening and who may be guilty. I LOVE Regan. She is like my spirit animal. Lucas was a bit annoying, but in a little brother way. He did things and you just wanted to shake him and scream, “What are you thinking?” I also really like Regan’s dad. He was protective, but stood back and let Regan do her own thing. Reminds me of my own dad. The story also flowed extremely well. There was a lot of information thrown at us, but it wasn’t overwhelming. It was like watching a puzzle come together; piece by piece. I also felt like the way the law enforcement portion was handled seemed very well researched. A lot of books do things and you automatically think the real police would never do that. Not this book. I definitely think she did her due diligence to make sure it was accurate, as well as a great story.
I have no complaints about this book. It was literal thriller perfection. Gripping from the beginning with a fantastic story and setting. The characters were relatable and well developed. And the mystery kept you turning pages almost faster than you can read. I cannot wait to read all of Brennan’s books to see if they are just as good as this one. A must read this winter!
A murder on a college campus always carries a certain type of mystique. And when it's a sorority girl, well, it just seems extra scary. I think we hope that our children are safe on their college campuses, their first time away from home. The ironic thing is that so many college campuses are full of people who don't quite fit in. People that don't want to fit in. People that find that a college campus, with its revolving door of students, is a great place to blend in.
Luca Vega's podcast centers on the case of Candace Swain, a sorority girl who went missing three years before, only to turn up dead a week later. The thing is, she wasn't dead that whole week. And she wasn't being held against her will either (at least according to several witnesses from that week). So where was she? And what happened to her? Or more importantly, what did she know?
On a college campus, three years is basically ancient history. Or maybe not quite. Because the freshmen that knew Candace and know what happened that week? They are seniors now. It might be the only chance Luca has to uncover what really happened. But as he digs deeper with the help of a former US Marshall, more bodies start turning up and no one is safe.
The Sorority Murder is a great fast-paced read for anyone who loves a good whodunnit. Special thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley for an advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review. This one is out now! Get your copy!
Allison Brennan's The Sorority Murder is an original story about a college senior's capstone project podcast that delves into an unsolved campus murder of a sorority girl three years earlier, as individual callers explode every fact previously thought to be true. Lucas Vega is obsessed with the death of Candace Swain, who left a sorority party one night and never came back. Her body was found almost 10 days later, and the case has grown cold. Three years ago, while interning at the Medical Examiner's office, Lucas discovered new information about Candace's death, but the police are not interested.
The lead detective truly believes that a homeless man who was last seen making a nuisance of himself at the yearly Spring Fling was responsible for Candace's death. Lucas knows he has several credible pieces of the puzzle, he just isn't sure how they fit together. So he creates a podcast to revisit Candace's last hours along with his producer Lizzy Choi. With the recommendation of Lucas's adviser, Regan Merritt, a former US Marshal who left the service after the murder of her only son, and the implosion of her marriage due to the murder, decides to see what she can do to guide Lucas and hopefully keep him out of trouble.
As the clues start coming forward, and the callers paint a picture of a girl, who by all outward appearances was a sweet girl who would give the shirt off her back if you needed help, who suddenly became sullen and closed off from her friends. As Regan gets further involved in the case, and she starts meeting the key characters who know more than they are saying, she realizes that Lucas has opened a hornet's nest, and if she's not careful, she could end up in a dangerous web of deceit by someone who is about as evil as they come while having the outward personality of a caring, cherishing person who everyone can rely on.
Then shockingly one of the podcast callers turns up dead. Another hints at Candace's secret life...a much darker picture than Lucas imagined—and one that implicates other sorority sisters in yet another possible murder that was covered up. Regan uses her own resources to bolster their theory and learns that Lucas is hiding his own dark secret. A secret that will expose an entire group of women who did the wrong thing at the wrong time and nobody took responsibility for their actions. The pressure is to solve the murder, but first Lucas must come clean about his real motives in pursuing this podcast – before the killer silences him forever.
I would gladly read any story that involved Regan as a spin-off if the author is so inclined. I think she is a wonderful character who puts her own skills, and training, and know how as a US Marshal to investigate lead after lead and while trying to keep Lucas, as well as Lizzy, alive. I liked her relationship with her father who not once pushed her into making a decision about what she's going to do next. Regan needs a happy ending, and I hope she one day gets it. Lucas can be forgiven for his obsession in discovering the truth about Candace since it directly affects someone from his past and her family who were looking for answers and closure. Unfortunately, there was a lot of repetition that could have been eliminated in the final draft. The pacing of the story was also slow.
There's a reason Allison Brennan is considered one of the best in the business - this book is just going to further cement her on top (and apparently it's the beginning of a new series, one which I will surely be following!)
The mystery is incredibly intense and I was sucked in from the beginning. The details make the case very suspense-filled and create a tense atmosphere as the book goes on, especially as both Regan and Lucas are hiding things in their pasts that are affecting their present situation. I don't want to spoil things, but it is an intense situation and that amps up as the book goes on.
The book is told from the past timeline - when Candace disappeared - and the present timeline with the podcast and Regan and Lucas. Both are great stories and have interesting characters. I feel like the character of Candace is really well drawn and we get to know her. Same with Regan and Lucas, obviously, but the fact that Brennan can do that with a victim is a testament to her writing skills.
This is a great start to a new series, and a must-read for fans of mystery/thrillers!