Cover Image: The Murder List

The Murder List

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Member Reviews

What a book and what a great opening few chapters.

Throughout the book we swap perspectives, Mary’s pov you get a sense of claustrophobia. Everyone around her is a suspect, she has the inability to live a normal life when everything is thrown out of control. Chapters from the police procedurals boost tension, how do you solve an upcoming murder with only a date, place and a first name to go on?

I was completely invested. At one point or another I’d accused everyone. The pace is great, really made this a page turner that wasn’t easy to put down.

The only thing I had my mind made up on was the gender of the killer, but this book is so full of twists I don’t think you know exactly what’s going on till its right on top of you!

Mary was a great character her progression and back story was well written. She definitely brings one of the most ‘mouth left open’ twists in the book. 

Overall.
This is such a great psychological thriller, with an equally brilliant concept. I loved the sense of unknown this book brings  the reader, leaving you on edge. .  The Murder List is impossible to predict and even if you manage to work out certain aspects, it's full of twists to the very end.  If you’re looking for a thriller fuelled by mystery and suspense this is well worth the purchase.
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Mary Ellis receives a diary for Christmas but doesn’t open it until the end of January. Unsure of who sent it to her she opens it so that she can find out who sent it to her and thank them. Instead she finds a list of people to be murdered. At first she thinks it’s a sick joke. January 1st says Lisa Oxford, February 1st Jane Birmingham, March 1st David Cardiff and 1st April Mary Cheltenham. It’s been on the news that a woman named Lisa was murdered in January. It seems that a killer is out there planning murders and Mary is on the hit list. Can Mary uncover the murderer before she is killed on the 1st April and hopefully save the lives of the others on the list who haven’t been killed yet. 
This book was fast paced and kept me guessing at every page. There were twists and turns at every page. The ending was completely unexpired. I highly recommend this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you to netgalley and one more chapter for the opportunity to read this book in advance in exchange for my honest review.
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The Murder List starts with a bang. The tension, the suspense, the mystery behind the murders kept me on the edge of my seat. I don't think I have ever read a book where the serial killer sends someone a list of their targets - and that someone is also in the list! 

When the second victim (the second in the list) is found dead, Mary tries to find a connection between the murdered and next victims (after all, the fourth target is Mary). She's quite sure she does not know the people on the list. Does that mean the killer is randomly choosing targets. That doesn't sound right, does it?

Halfway through the story we have a twist. More of a shocking revelation - the kind that makes your heart skip a beat. I read a particular sentence twice to make sure I read it right. Totally unexpected! This particular shocker is further explored with Mary trying to keep this a secret from the coppers and Pete. 

Until 80%, the story is full of suspense and mystery. Then comes another twist - the identity of the killer and Mary coming face-to-face with them. This was quite unavoidable, after all, Mary was the fourth target. I kept my expectations high from the beginning and felt a little let down with the ending. The killer's identity was unexpected, yes. But somehow, not up to my liking. This is the only niggle I had with the story. Otherwise, The Murder List  is, no doubt, a gripping and totally engrossing read. 

4.5/5
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Oh this was good. I’ve seen Jackie Kabler’s books but haven’t read any before this one. That will change though. I loved it. Really keeps you guessing and I had about 5 guesses at the murderer but of course all wring. A really good read.
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If you are looking for a thriller that will keep you guessing, and reading into the wee hours of the morning, here it is! This psychological suspense novel has it all- murders, twists, secrets, and thrills! 

Mary receives a diary that she almost donates to charity until she notices a note that says, “Read me!” She looks in the diary and sees a notation on January 1. “Murder Lisa, Oxford.” As she is puzzling over that, a news announcer on the television is discussing an Oxford murder and the victim’s name is Lisa! Mary quickly reads that additional murders are planned for February 1 and March 1. And on April 1, a woman named Mary is scheduled to be murdered! 

I am not going to give away any other details, just know there were some terrifying moments! Read this if you love a solid suspense mystery!

My thanks to NetGalley and One More Chapter- Harper Collins for my digital eARC. My thoughts are my own.
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thank you to netgalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review! 

the murder list follows cheltenham resident mary, who is gifted with a diary that contains the name of a murder victim and what appears to be a list of who’s next on the killer’s list. mary joins forces with the local police to catch the killer before they make their next move.

the best thing about this book was how unique the premise was. i haven’t read that many mystery novels but most of them follow a similar pattern or plot summary, so the murder list was refreshing since i’d never read anything where the murders had already been planned out. the pacing of the book was great as well; i was on the edge of my seat but wasn’t being bombarded with new twists and action scenes. however, this book wasn’t outstanding. by a certain point, i had figured out what was going to happen, and i did have that satisfaction of solving the mystery before mary did, i wish some of the smaller details all added up for a bigger reveal at the end. i also didn’t love mary as a main character and found her narration dry at times. overall, though, this was a fun, fast-paced read that got me out of a slump!
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The Murder List is the story of Mary, a freelance journalist who’s work focuses on true crime. Just before Christmas, she recieves a diary that countains a list of people who are going to be murdered, and the date that they are set to die. Much to her surprise, her name and where she lives is last on the list. The contents of the diary come to her attention after the first murder on the list, prompting her to take the list immediately to her local police department. The book follows Mary and the detectives involved in the case as they try to figure out who is killing the people on the list and stopping them before they get to the next person. 

Many thrillers start off slow as we see the life of our main character and try to guess where the story is going to go. This story starts very strongly with images of the fire that Mary was in when she was 18. The vivid descriptions immediately connected me with the story, leading me to want more.

 From that first scene, the tension builds as readers see Mary receive the diary and try to guess how she is going to react. Her back story and her connection to the case is drawn out just enough that I stayed interested without feeling that I was drowning in information.

 I loved that Mary’s point of view was broken up by the detectives who were in charge of the case. My only complaint was that there were so many different detectives from so many different cities that it was hard to keep track. 

The story is filled with so much tension as the time goes on and Mary gets closer and closer to the date that lists her name as the victim. Around the halfway point, I couldn't put it down. Mary had so many juicy secrets that gave me so many ideas about the case. It was fun that the story gave me room to keep guessing. 

Mary’s personal life was the only sticking point in the book for me. I spent most of the book not understanding why she was making the decisions she was making. From her relationship with her best friend and roommate to the information she chose to tell and not tell the detectives, her decisions felt silly. It wasn't until more of her past came to light that it at least sorta made sense.

 I also had a hard time with the ending. I left feeling a bit let down after the amount of tension that the rest of the book had.

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review. 

⅘ stars
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This is the first book I have read by this author and I absolutely loved it. I did not want to put this book the characters were so well written and the plot kept me gripped.  I highly recommend this book.
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Wow this was a brilliant book , I enjoyed every minute of it . The story is very intriguing and then half way through it really heats up trying to guess whodunnit. It was extremely well written with great characters . This author just goes from strength to strength and I can’t wait for the next
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What would you do if you received a diary which included the date you are going to be murdered? Go to the police? Leave the country? Stay and face your fate?

That is exactly the dilemma faced by Mary. She receives the diary thinking it is a Christmas gift but doesn’t open it until January, expecting there to be a card inside but instead there is a chilling list of murders which will be taking place over the next four months, hers being the last on the list. 

The storyline progresses with Mary deciding to go to the police and the murders begin. With no leads at all and her date fast approaching, the suspense increases. 

You won’t want to put this one down. The story proceeds as you would expect until half way through when it goes off on a tangent I did not expect at all and I was even more glued to the pages. There are so many unexpected twists and turns making this a really cleverly written thriller. 

I thoroughly enjoyed joining in with a 5 day read along on Instagram.
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Mary is a crime writer. Around Christmas, she gets lots of gifts from editors and friends, that she later gives to charity. So when someone gave her a diary she didn't think twice about it. Almost a month later, she discovers that the diary is not empty. 

On the 1st of January, it says MURDER LISA  OXFORD, on the 1st of February MURDER JANE, BIRMINGHAM, 1st March MURDER DAVID, CARDIFF and lastly on the 1st of April MURDER MARY, CHELTENHAM.

It looks like a sick joke, but there is a woman named Lisa from Oxford that was murdered on the 1st of January. Mary does the reasonable thing and notifies the police. With so little to go on, the police can't do much, but wait and look for clues. Until the next month starts. 

Mary is worried, mainly because it looks like the last victim is her. She does a bit of exploring on the own, but can't find connections between the victims.

As time moves on, the tension goes up until the 1st of April.

The book is seriously so good! The story builds up slowly, with each chapter the tension rises, until the final day, when it all comes to blows. I had a person in mind, who did it, but I couldn't be more wrong. When you think you know what is going on, there comes another twist in the story. Highly recommend it!

I've read the book as part of the read-along with One More Chapter. It was so much fun! :)

Thank you Netgalley and One More Chapter for the ARC, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I am obsessed with murder mystery books. The plot drew me in. A lady called Mary receives a diary with a list of names on the first day of each month, saying they will be murdered. April 1st is the day where is says MARY - CHELTENHAM. How can you prevent a murder from happening when you already know about it? There was a lot of twists and turns. You feel every emotion of the characters, a very thrilling novel.
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I enjoyed this book a lot. It was a little slow at first for me but the ending really picked up. I thought I had it all figured out but I was completely wrong.

Thank you St. Martin Press for the arc of this book!
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I absolutely loved The Murder List by Jacke Kabler! I was immediately intrigued by the premise of the book - Mary Ellis receives a diary/planner as a Christmas gift that has first names and cities written in on the first day of January, February, March, and April. It becomes clear that these people are being targeted for murder and April 1st lists the name "Mary" and the city in which she lives! 

The Murder List is one of those books that once you start it, you won't want to put it down. The story is told from the point of view of Mary and from the various detectives who are trying to solve the murders that have already taken place as well as trying to prevent any more deaths. The police procedural elements of the story are good additions to this thriller. 

There is so much tension in this story, and I had to keep reading to find out what would happen next.  That level of tension continues to increase as the story gets closer and closer to the first of April. There are so many suspicious characters that I kept changing my mind about who the killer was and ultimately I was way off! There are a lot of plot twists along the way and although I was able to figure out a couple of them, I was still truly shocked by others. Sometimes I question Mary's decisions, but the reason she makes some of the choices she does becomes more clear by the end of the book. The ending is both surprising and satisfying. This is a fast-paced, suspenseful thriller that I highly recommend. 

I received an advance copy of this ebook from the publisher at no cost, but my review is voluntary and unbiased.
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Plot 

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…

1st January MURDER LISA, OXFORD
1st February MURDER JANE, BIRMINGHAM
1st March MURDER DAVID, CARDIFF
1st April MURDER MARY, CHELTENHAM

Is this some kind of sick joke? But…it’s the end of January now. And a woman named Lisa was murdered in Oxford on 1st January.

Does that mean there really is a killer out there, planning to commit a new murder on the first of 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… 

Review 

This book had me from the word go. It’s full of twists and turns and takes you to places you don’t expect even for a thriller. 

Mary is pretty much a likeable character for the most part but you do get the feeling that’s she hiding something and that something could save her life. 

The fact that you get taken on the journey with Mary, you get to feel every single tingle, fright, nerve and feeling that she and her “friend” Pete is feeling.  

There are so many red herrings there is no way you will figure the answer out. Not even until the very last page. 

This is a brilliant thriller and I highly recommend it. 

Rating 

5/5 

Recommend 

Hell yes! Beware of triggers such as facial disfigurement and description of injuries. 

Thank you to One More Chapter for an advance copy as part of The Murder List Reading. All opinions are my own
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Could the police solve a murder if they know about it in advance? Or better yet, stop it actually happening? How can they know if the information is accurate? That is the premise of this highly original thriller from Jackie Kabler. 
In 'The Murder List' , our protoganist is one Mary Ellis, a well-respected, freelance crime journalist. The story opens when Mary receives a diary for Christmas and but forgets to open the uninspiring gift until a few days into the New Year. Mary is initially bemused to discover that the diary contains some entries already. Unusual entries .... very unusual .....
Jan 1
MURDER LISA
OXFORD
followed by Jane, David and Mary, each name with a different location on the 1st of the following month. At first, Mary assumes this is an odd and tasteless joke. But the name Lisa seems familiar. After a while, Mary comes to realise that a woman named Lisa was murdered in Oxford on 1st January. With a rising sense of fear, Mary reports the diary to her local police station. 
The police are initially suspicious but soon feel compelled to investigate, especially as they feel that the civilian (Mary) could alert the media and then they really would be under intense scrutiny and pressure.
From this point on the story is told both from Mary's viewpoint and also the third person viewpoint of the police team who are investigating the case. As the weeks pass by and the body count rises, Mary slowly reveals her past and the tension is ramped up considerably. Mary narrates her concerns and her own investigation, along with her increasing suspicions towards everyone around her - is Pete really as good as he seems? What about Pete's girlfriend and her  proprietorship of him? Her maybe Satish or Eleanor? Oh, my list of possible suspects is growing rapidly and I love how the author has slowly but carefully ramped up the pace and thrills. 
There are several different strands to the storyline but Kabler ensures that the strands are all weaved together and comes to a rather epic conclusion. I was feeling proud of myself for correctly guessing one or two of the twists, but there were plenty of real "I didn't see that coming moments".
Highly enjoyable.
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Thanks to netgalley for the chance to read this book.

Mary receives a blank diary as a present. Little does she know it contains the details of murders that will happen on the 1st of every month, until she opens it at the end of January. She realises a murder has already been committed and another 3 are scheduled Jane - 1st February, David - 1st March and Mary - 1st April,  Can she find out if there is a killer out there before her murder is scheduled for?

My first book by Jackie and couldn’t put it down.
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Description 🔖

Mary Ellis is gifted a diary for Christmas that she completely casts to the side and forgets about. It’s not until she is having a clear out that she remembers her intention to send a thank you note to the anonymous sender and she finds that the diary isn’t actually new. It has entries.

1st January Murder Lisa, Oxford

1st February Murder Jane, Birmingham

1st March Murder David, Cardiff

1st April Murder Mary, Cheltenham

It’s already the end of January and after a quick confirmation, Mary knows that a woman named Lisa was murdered in Oxford on the 1st January. Is it a wild coincidence or is there a killer out there planning on carrying out this sick to do list? Either way, Mary has until the 1st April to find out for sure.

General Thoughts 🤔

Well this book is definitely one for being shocked and sucker punched. There was a huge twist around mid-way through that I didn’t see coming as well as the reveal at the end that took me by complete surprise. I loved the tension and suspense in The Murder List, it really did keep me hooked. So much so that I ended up being a bit naughty and jumping ahead of the readalong schedule as I just couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next.

One of the readalong challenges was to write down a prediction from day 2. I’ll include mine here;

I think that Pete and Megan are definitely up to something. Megan seems a little passive aggressive and there are some weird coincidental things that Pete seems to be involved with that make him suspicious to me. I don’t think that Edward or Satish are the killer(s) but I do think they have some kind of secret that they’re hiding from everyone. 

Obviously I won’t be giving away any spoilers (not my review style) but for those that have read the book or will read the book, you’ll probably have a good giggle at my prediction.

Characters 👫👭👬

I’m going to find this section difficult to write without giving away any spoilers but I’ll give it a go anyway. Probably an unpopular opinion, but Mary kind of annoyed me. In the beginning I was all behind her and I think similar to her, I wouldn’t have been able to resist getting involved in the investigation. After a while, I thought that she kind of got a bit needy and it grated on me.

I disliked Pete throughout. I didn’t think he was a good friend to Mary but liked to wear a hero badge. I felt like he swooped in when it suited him and Mary really clung on to those moments. If he was a true friend he would have been there for her more.

There were so many other characters in the book that I could ramble on about but that would make for a very long review. On reflection, I don’t think I trusted any of them and that was probably the point. Whether they were planted as a red herring or not, they all had a secret and something to hide.

Writing Style ✍️

This is the first Jackie Kabler book that I’ve read and I can assure you that it won’t be the last. This author has a marvellous talent for creating suspicion. It was evident how well she had buried the secrets of this story deep, by the different speculations and predictions that were bouncing around in the blogger chat for the readalong. There is zero chill in this story and the short and sharp chapters helped with that I think. It was difficult to get to the end of a chapter and not want to read on.

As I always say, I love a story told from multiple perspectives and this one was no exception. The chapters were split between Mary’s perspective and the police force’s perspective. Both very different but equally engaging. I think the choice of different POVs was a fantastic balance for the book.

Conclusion & Scoring ✍️

After all of the above, it will be no surprise to anyone reading this that I loved this book. The writing and the story were fantastic and kept me as a reader hooked on every single chapter. Reading this alongside a group of other bloggers made it even more fun and if you have a buddy you can read along with, I’d definitely recommend doing so and playing the guessing games together.
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I read this book as part of a readalong with One More Chapter. So firstly I would just like to say thank you to them for setting this up. I had so much fun reading this book, taking part in the challenges and discussing the chapters with the other bloggers.

Now time to tell you my thoughts…

This book The Murder List was INCREDIBLE from the beginning… ‘The run up to christmas is always a strange time. Not nearly enough dead bodies’ – the first line and my eyes were popped out!! The first freaking line. I think after that kind of introduction you are in for one hell of a ride… and I was right!! Probably the only thing I was right about like.

Let me just tell you something, for all you want to be detectives out there… this book is a case you can not crack!! no matter how hard you think about it!!

The story follows the main character Mary and four police forces trying to figure out who the killer could be, alongside trying to figure out the connection between the victims. Everyone is stumped. And everyone is on high alert and suspicion. And still…. Confusion!

The suspense in this book is something you will never have sat through before! As this was a readalong I paced myself as I was given what chapters to read. But, if it was me alone I would probably have devoured it in one sitting. It was so hard to put down.

Twist, after twist, after twist!

Just when you thought you knew what could be happening, another name is added to your list! Then you suspect someone else – THEN something else is thrown into the mix and it leaves you…


And that keeps happening right until the very end!

You will second guess yourself, YOU CAN NOT TRUST ANYONE!!

Now I admit this review probably doesn’t give justice to this book, because it was THAT AMAZING!! This is a book I would highly recommend to EVERYONE!
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Mary Ellis received a planner for Christmas, and like most work gifts, it sat unused. Looking to declutter after the new year, Mary realizes the planner she has ignored contains sinister entries for murder, and one of the dates has already come true. Then, Mary flips to April and sees her own name on April 1st. Mary immediately runs to the police, but as the dates tick by and each murder comes to pass, Mary begins to wonder, who is this murderer who can stump the police over and over again? And will she actually be next? “The Murder List” by Jackie Kabler is a fast paced mystery, full of twists and turns.

I love a good mystery, so when One More Chapter said they were hosting a readalong, I knew that I had to join. I really enjoyed attempting to solve this mystery along with everyone else and can’t help but laugh at my incorrect murderer guess. (I won’t share it, so you won’t have a spoiler, but sheesh am I mad, haha). This book definitely challenged my guessing skills up until the very end.

Overall, this book was an easy 5 stars from me. At the beginning the language felt a little formal to me, but as the story took off it was easy to get into Mary’s world and adjust to the shifting voices. I loved how there were so many twists and the ending was pretty satisfying, if not a little unexpected and twisted. This is definitely a good pick if you’re looking for a quick mystery.

Thank you to One More Chapter and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. This book hits shelves on May 31st.
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