Cover Image: The Murder List

The Murder List

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This book sounds as creepy as the title says. Mary is a crime writer and she receives a normal diary for Christmas. When she takes it out to see who sent it to her so that she can send a thank you note, she realises that it has a name and a location for four different entries. One such day has already passed and a person with that name is already dead. The last entry is her name. 

This book alters between Mary’s POV and police investigation. As usual I couldn’t get into the investigation narration because I always find it a bit hard to follow. But this book is an interestingly wild ride and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

All thanks to Harpercollin Publishers for the eARC.
Was this review helpful?
Say hello to a new to me author Jackie Kabler. I sometimes wonder why I'm a book reviewer given the fact that most books I read for reviewing are by authors I've never read or dare say heard of before 🙈  However, this is why I love reviewing books because it opens up my world to new autobuy authors 😄 

I picked this book because I loved the synopsis. A diary is sent to Mary Ellis, a crime writer. And in it is just 4 entries, 4 names, 4 locations and the word murder next to each entry. Sound strange? Well even stranger when it's Mary's name written in the 4th entry. And she has discovered that the 1st murder has already happened. Cue a big investigation involving 4 police forces clueless and an ever increasing worried Mary. 

The writing in this story flowed so well, when I realised we were going to have an investigation by four police forces. I did worry how it would all come about and if I'd get confused. But, I didn't have to worry I followed it all easily and found myself knee deep in the investigation and putting my wits against the police force and the murderer. 

As the story develops, Mary's character also becomes a mystery to us and I loved her backstory. Which made me question who she was and whether to believe her or not. Saying that, I did point my finger of suspicion at nearly every character in the book 🤣 and I blame Kabler for this, she kept putting little hints and twists within the narrative that git my crime busting juices flowing. 

The Murder List is a cracking read. It has all the perfect elements needed for a crime investigation. Will you figure out who is the murderer? I sure didn't 😄
Was this review helpful?
This is the first book that I have read my Jackie Kabler and it won't be my last! WOW. This book isn't a fast paced back and forth type thriller until the end. I had to force myself to S L O W down, I was reading so fast to find out! Entertaining and surprising! I recommend this one!!
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely loved the premise of The Murder List.  Mary, a crime writer, receives a diary at work for Christmas, she puts it to one side assuming it’s from a publisher.  A couple of weeks pass and while she’s going through her things notices that something is actually written the diary - there are four first names and dates they’ll be murdered.  One of the first names could be her own…..  

The Murder List is brilliantly paced - moving between the Police investigation to Mary counting down and dealing with her possible murder date.  As Mary’s murder date approached, I couldn’t put the book down and I really felt Mary’s paranoia.  There were some twists and turns that I really did not see coming.  This is prime for a TV adaptation!  

I must say the artwork for the book cover is brilliant - so simple, and the image of the note with ‘Your name is next’ really sold the book to me and made me want to read it.  

This was my first Jackie Kabler book and it certainly won’t be my last!   Huge thanks to the Publishers, HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter, , and NetGalley for making this ARC available to me for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
An Intense Thriller.........................

The Murder List by Jackie Kabler is what a good thriller looks like. The suspense and thrill of the plot is worth to count on. Marvelous climax and characters makes it one of the best thrillers of this year. A dessert for mystery lovers. The book is so entertaining that I finished it within a day only as it is a real page turner. A plot that is fully absorbing with a mind blowing climax.

Definitely, 5 stars to the book. Thanks to Netgalley, Rachel's Random Resources and One More Chapter for providing me an opportunity to read and review the book.
Was this review helpful?
The Murder List is an engrossing and intriguing story of secrets, lies and misunderstandings, tense and twisty. The premise of the story is solid, and the plotline with the twists and turns and red herrings aplenty is developing satisfactorily, until the last chapters.

The plotting is enthralling, the villain is nasty, and the pace and suspense are handled expertly.
Was this review helpful?
I was hooked from the very start of this book and once I started reading, I couldn't stop. As each chapter passed, I'd have a new suspicion of who the murderer could be, yet I still didn't guess correctly. Such a great page turner of a book with plenty of twists. Thank you to One More Chapter and NetGalley for the chance to read in return for an honest review
Was this review helpful?
Oh many this was a wild book! I loved it.  It is one of those books that you own't want to put down. It alternates between Mary's POV and the detectives. I enjoyed having different view points of this story. Overall, such a great story and I loved the different characters. It kept me hooked.
Was this review helpful?
This book 🤯🤯
It's one of those books with tons of speculation in so it's SUPER fun to buddy read and I had the best time on this one!
The concept is simple. Mary is a crime writer and for Christmas she anonymously receives a diary. She's about to send it to the charity shop but glances through it quickly first when there it is. Listed are the first name and locations of planned murders. All seems like a joke until the 1st Jan and the words Murder, Lisa, Oxford come true.
Guess who's name is 1st April? Why, Mary of course. In this race-against-time will Mary be able to work with the police to prevent her own murder? As each predicted murder happens time is slipping away and Mary suspects EVERYONE.
The question is, will she survive to write the crime story of her life, or will someone be writing it about her?
This is pacey, edge of your seat stuff. I suspected pretty much everyone all the way through. I even suspected everybody in on it together at one point. I had prediction after prediction and every single one was rubbish 😂
If you need a slump breaker or something that will grip you until the early hours, this is it. You won't be disappointed!
This is the first Jackie Kabler book I've read and it certainly will not be my last!
Was this review helpful?
This is a quick-paced and fun mystery that I flew through rather quickly. 

Mary receives a diary that lists out vague details about murders that were upcoming.  That last murder in the diary  (aka datebook) lists her own name.  She goes immediately to police and they're all against the clock to catch a killer.  Mary has secrets in her own life, could they be the link? 

This story grips you from the first chapter and continues at a great pace.  It's full of great characters and will keep you guessing while the plot twists and turns.
Was this review helpful?
I found The Murder List intriguing just from reading the description. There were plenty of twists, turns and red herrings that kept me turning the pages and I sped through the story at lightning speed as I just did not want to put it down. I highly recommend The Murder List.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC.
Was this review helpful?
The Murder List was a really good psychological thriller that I couldn’t put down once I had started it.
Mary is a freelance writer and after Christmas flips through a diary she was given as a Christmas present but she can’t remember who gave it her. Mary is alarmed to find four dates already written in it;
1st January MURDER Lisa, Oxford.
1st February MURDER Jane, Birmingham.
1st March MURDER David, Cardiff.
1st April MURDER Mary, Cheltenham.
The first murder has already happened and is correct, if the list is followed Mary will be dead on April fools day. Mary with the help of the police try to find out who the murderer is and plan to keep Mary safe, but Mary has secrets of her own that no one knows about but this may not be the case if Mary needs to stay alive.
I would like to thank Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, OneMoreChapter for this ARC I received in exchange for an honest review.
This was a great read and had me guessing from the start but I did not get the culprit so definitely a bonus point there. The book has some good characters in it and progressed at a good speed. The ending was a little wild but still enjoyable.
Was this review helpful?
Being a big fan of Jackie's previous books, I am thrilled to be able to take part in the blog tour for her latest novel, The Murder List.

Crime reporter, Mary Ellis, receives a "gift" on the run up to Christmas. It turns out to be a lovely diary, pre-populated with the names, dates and locations of upcoming murders. Needless to say, Mary is more than a little spooked by this, particularly as the last name on the list seems to be hers...  What a gripping start to the book!

The story flips between Mary's first-person narrative and the third-person narrative of the police investigation. I particularly liked the idea that part of the story was told from the point of view of a character who knows/suspects that she is going to be a potential victim. This certainly adds an extra element of suspense and urgency to the tale.

The plot is absorbing and intriguing and whilst I don't want to ruin it for anyone, suffice to say that there is murder, several concurrent police investigations and a number of twists, some of which caught me completely off-guard. I do love a book that has the ability to surprise me! 

The character development is well-done. The author slowly peels back the layers, gradually revealing Mary to be an unexpectedly complex character. I found myself questioning and becoming suspicious of her reactions to certain events.

Overall, a great twisty thriller that kept me gripped until the very last line. Suspenseful, clever and very entertaining - I would happily recommend this book.
Was this review helpful?
This is such a clever tale, and I had strong feelings as to who was behind everything but ended up gobsmacked by the end result. The characterisation is brilliant with more to many of the characters than meets the eye. There are abundant red herrings and I was completely hooked by the tale. Mary who works in publishing receives a diary on Christmas Eve and when she takes a look at it everything is pointing to the fact that on 1st April, Mary will die. Told from mainly Mary's viewpoint, the reader gets to know her well as she tries along with the police to track down the diary author and killer before it's her turn. Speedily-paced, suspenseful and atmospheric, it's well-executed with terrific plotting and I didn't want to put it down. Smartly done and unpredictable.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from One More Chapter via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
When Mary, a freelance crime writer receives a diary in the post near Christmas she thinks nothing of it, another present from a colleague. But when she eventually opens it there are 4 entries in it at the start of the each month with the word kill, a single name and a town. The last entry is for April 1st - Kill Mary Cheltenham. As the first name on the list turns up murdered in the town that matches the name also, she realises she may have a serial killer on her hands and one that is letting her know she will be the last on the list. Can she and police find out who it is before her time comes?

This is a cool idea and the book for the most part zips along nicely. There is plenty of tension as you try to figure out what’s going on and it’s ramped up as the weeks pass and we get closer to April. 

The negatives here. Some of the dialogue, especially among the police is really shoddy and poorly written. Takes you right out of the story. Also the red herrings felt really clumsily handled as they were pushed so much in your face you knew it was a vehicle for apparent distraction. 

The last 20% of the book totally falls apart and sinks into the ludicrous and also tacks on and extra 2-3 chapters that were totally unnecessary. 

I sound like I’m pretty down on this book and I am because it was a great premise and it has some great moments. It just suffers from some poor writing and the old adage of losing the run of itself and having twists that seem to be there for the sake of it, not really adding to the story but taking away from it. 

2.5 stars rounded up to 3 because, despite the criticism I enjoyed large chunks of this pretty original tale. 

Thanks to the publisher for the ARC through Netgalley.
Was this review helpful?
This was such an easy read and I was intrigued from the start. The author has a way of making everyone look guilty and I was always changing my mind about who the villain was.  And I can’t forget those mind blowing twists. I definitely did not see them coming and loved that she didn’t wait for the end for them. The only thing that would have made it better was not having to explain the how at the end.  Personally I prefer when it naturally comes out in the story, but if that is my only complaint, then I guess it was good.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely loved this! 
The author really kept the story going with all the twists and turns! After each chapter I just had to keep reading on! Some moments I was literally just sat there with my mouth wide open in shock 🤣
Every time I had a new suspect who I thought was the murderer turned out to be completely wrong! 
I loved how the author threw in multiple people for suspects and kept you wanting to know more. 
This was the first book I’ve read from this author and I look forward to reading more!
Was this review helpful?
This is my third thriller by Jackie Kabler and I was both excited and intrigued by the premise. A killer forewarning his victim? What an interesting read this could be!

Freelance crime writer Mary Ellis receives a blank diary as a gift just days before Christmas and thinks nothing more of it. Until six weeks later she's clearing a bunch of random items including a couple of unwanted gifts to send to charity. She picks up the expensive leather-bound diary and flicks through the pages...and realises it's not blank after all.

1st January - MURDER Lisa, Oxford
1st February - MURDER Jane, Birminghams
1st March - MURDER David, Cardiff
1st April - MURDER Mary, Cheltenham

Is this some kind of sick joke? It's already the end of January which means the first murder must have already occurred and the second one is now just days away. And then she recalls the body of a young barrister in Oxford found, her murder still unsolved. Was her name Lisa?

Mary knows immediately that she must inform the police and let them take charge of the diary and investigation. But as each month draws to a close, Mary begins to feel anxious knowing what is in store but not knowing exactly who the next victim will be...not until the call comes through or news hits the press.

And then Mary receives a threatening letter, naming her as the fourth victim, thus calling her Family Liaison Officer in a frantic panic. So why forewarn Mary of her impending murder when the other three are just random mystery names? How can the police possibly track down the actual intended victim before they become a victim?

Throughout this reign of terror, Mary has confided in her closest friend and housemate Pete, although the police have asked her to swear him to the utmost secrecy. But when people begin to find out her intentions, Mary starts to wonder who can she truly trust?

And as February ticks over into March, April looms closer. The clock is ticking...and time is almost running out. Can Mary and the police uncover the killer before claiming Mary has the final victim?

A fast-paced thriller, THE MURDER LIST was indeed a different concept and an intriguing one to say the least. There are many red herrings, false leads and twists that it will make your head spin. Then about halfway through comes the biggest shock of all! I did NOT see that coming...and then I began to look at the mystery differently. Did this reveal have something to do with what is really going on? Or is just another red herring? But the twists didn't stop. I had about four suspects at one stage, as I slowly eliminated them one by be replaced by yet another latecomer to the mix. I was almost convinced of three of them of possible involvement when another fourth made me stop and wonder. Making me realise, I really had no clue at all. lol

Predominantly narrated in the first person by Mary herself, THE MURDER LIST also takes in the investigation from each of the local constabularies of each region. It was interesting to watch them hammer it out together and factor in key points whilst dismissing others. And it became quite clear that the police had no clue either. By the end, Mary was almost a quivering wreck from anxiety over the looming attack whilst everyone else was left scratching their heads...myself included.

THE MURDER LIST is a fun and entertaining read. I loved the underlying theme that began in the prologue and was always just a whisker away from the rest of the story. I knew it had to be important but I wasn't sure how it factored in. I wasn't entirely impressed with who the villain turned out to be and even less impressed with their motive behind the murders. My own theory was far more impressive...but to share that would be to reveal spoilers.

I really enjoyed THE MURDER LIST, though admittedly not as must as "The Perfect Couple" or "The Happy Family" - both of which I loved. Still it was an entertaining read and a good solid thriller. Perfect for fans of thrillers with a little procedural and a lot of twists to make for a fun-filled ride.

I would like to thank #JackieKabler, #Netgalley, #OneMoreChapter and #RachelsRandomResources for an ARC of #TheMurderList in exchange for an honest review.

This review appears on my blog at
Was this review helpful?
This is a fun twisty, story within a story read. That had me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book. Jackie Kabler masterfully crafted this read to leave you dangling from a cliff until the last possible moment. I thought I had it all figured out and of course I didn't. The characters are deeply layered with secrets that are exposed throughout the book. I absolutely loved that aspect, the story within the story, I had no idea that it was coming and bam it knocked me for a loop every single time a new layer was exposed.

Mary is a freelance crime writer, who craves the next big story. When one massive story lands unexpectedly right in her lap. She receives a diary for Christmas, as she is about to pass it on to Goodwill she flips through to see if there is name so she can properly thank them. Instead she discovers something more dark and sinister between the pages. On the beginning of the first three months there is a single name, the town they live, and the chilling word murder. On the fourth month is the name Mary and her town. This leads Mary and the police down a dark road of always being a step behind and never having enough information. Is Mary the Mary listed in the book? Will the police be able to uncover who is behind this spine chilling diary?

From the first page you are on a mad sprint, the pages will be flying, and your mind will be going at warp speed to figure who is behind the diary. Thank you to Jackie Kabler, One More Chapter, and HarperCollins UK for this thrilling read.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an ARC of The Murder List by Jackie Kabler!

When Mary receives a blank diary as a present, she thinks nothing of it. Until she opens the diary, and sees it’s not blank after all…


Is this a sick joke? But…it’s the end of January now. And a woman called Lisa was murdered in Oxford on 1st January. Could there really be a killer out there, planning to commit a new murder each month? And is the Mary due to be killed on 1st April her? The clock is ticking for Mary to uncover the truth, before she becomes the next victim on the killer’s list…

This book is a twisted ride that doens't let up until the very end! I thought I might know who the killer was, but I was surprised with the real identity. I couldn't put this book down once I started it because I had to know how it ended. It idea kind of reminded me of Death Note, without the supernatural twist. I will definitly be reading mpore books by Jackie Kabler!
Was this review helpful?