Cover Image: Next of Kin

Next of Kin

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Member Reviews

As Annie's cousin marries into the family, Annie gets embroiled in tracking down one of the sibling's biological parents. What follows is a messed up mixed up hot mess. Old crimes and alliances come to light, someone dies, and Annie is being watched. The mood stays tense throughout a majority of the book, even within Annie's own relationships. Not difficult when most of the families involved have been in the same small town for generations. A good solid read with lots of characters to keep the story moving!

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Next of Kin by Samantha Jayne Allen brings back newly-licensed private investigator Annie McIntyre, 26, from Garnett, TX. In this highly recommended mystery she accepts a case helping someone find his biological parents, but it soon turns into much more.

Annie and her boyfriend, Wyatt, attend a prenuptial party for her cousin Nikki and her fiance Sonny Marshall. Annie is the maid of honor. The party is being given by Sonny's best man and adopted brother, Clint Marshall, a talented up-and-coming musician. After the party Clint comes in to hire Annie to find his biological family. He was adopted at age 4 and has some memories from his past. She quickly discovers that his father is a bank robber serving time and that he has a brother, sister and mother.

Annie meets his brother, Cody. Soon after that, Cody is found dead and Clint disappears. Annie doubts the official verdict concerning Cody's death and wonders if it was a homicide. In this small town setting everyone seems to know everyone else as Annie sets off on her own dangerous investigation with some help from former county sheriff and her grandfather, Leroy, 85, and his former deputy, Mary-Pat Zimmerman.

This is a well-written, carefully plotted PI novel. The characters were portrayed as realistic, well-developed characters. The small Texas town setting adds an interesting atmosphere to the narrative as well as plenty of connections between characters.

It does start a bit slowly, taking time to work up some speed, but once it gets moving the pages will fly by. As my first Annie McIntyre, Next of Kin worked as a standalone. The ending absolutely surprised me. Thanks to Minotaur Books for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

The review will be published on Edelweiss, X, Barnes & Noble and Amazon

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This book was a solid mystery thrillers with probably too many characters. I found myself truly getting into the mystery of it and wanting to solve what was going on. But that was overshadowed by trying to keep track of who was who.

The authors writing was fantastic! There were not any huge plot holes that bothered me. But I just prefer not as many characters seemingly wanting the lead.

Overall a 3 star thriller that I will probably skip at book club next month. All due to personal preference. Thank you @netgalley and the publisher for this e-arc!

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The third Annie McIntyre mystery has Annie having her new private investigators license and working with her grandfather Leroy's old partner in their investigations firm. Annie is also involved in her cousin Nikki's wedding. Her next case comes to her when the best man, Sonny's adopted brother, hires Annie to track down his birth parents.

Locating Clint Marshall's mother and siblings doesn't turn out to be hard but opens a real can of worms for both Annie and Clint. It turns out Clint's birth father was a bank robber who is in prison. Annie's grandfather Leroy was instrumental in capturing him and his adoptive mother was one of the bank tellers when the bank was robbed.

Going to talk to Clint's birth mother is difficult as she blames Leroy for lots of the problems in her life. But her son Cody is more receptive to having a brother. Annie also runs afoul of the next-door neighbor whose daughter disappeared at the same time as the bank robbery. She feels that the police didn't do enough to find her missing daughter whose bones were discovered some ten years after her disappearance.

Then Cody dies in an apparent suicide which Annie really doubts and Clint disappears just before the wedding. Annie is kept busy trying to discover who killed Cody and where Clint is and finds herself digging into secrets from her family's past.

This was quite a twisty mystery with so many connections between all the characters which raised more questions for Annie than providing answers to her inquiries. I liked the setting which was described very well. I thought the characters were well-developed too.

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Interesting, well-written thriller. I don't think it's something that I'll be thinking about for a long time, but I definitely didn't guess who the killer was and found myself engaged in learning more about what was going on.

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This was a solid mystery with a lot of characters. Enjoyed the plot and a few of the characters, but I
felt it dragged a little at times. All in all, it was pretty good!

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Annie's cousin Nikki is getting ready to marry Sonny so Sonny's brother Colt throws a party. Cold ask Annie, who is a PI to look into finding his birth parents as he was adopted. This inquiry opens a lot of secrets and puts a target on Annie's back as there are some who don't want the truth to come out. And it only gets worse when Colts biological brother is found dead and the police say suicide, but Annie is sure he was murdered. Secrets from thirty years past are bubbling to the surface.

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"From Tony Hillerman Prize-winning author Samantha Jayne Allen comes Next of Kin, a mesmerizing novel set in a hardscrabble Texas town, where the past is never far away.

At a gathering for her cousin's wedding party, newly-licensed PI Annie McIntyre gets asked an age-old question: what really makes us who we are, nature or nurture? Clint Marshall, an up-and-coming musician and an adoptee at a personal crossroads, wants to hire Annie to find his biological parents, and that question is on his mind. Annie accepts his case, not knowing then that she, too, must decide if she really believes what she tells him that night - in essence, that people are in charge of their destinies. That people can change.

When Annie discovers her client's father is a bank robber who her granddad, Leroy, arrested back when he was sheriff, reverberations sound between the past and the present, igniting old flames and rivalries. When the brother of her client dies suddenly, his death ruled a suicide, Annie questions whether or not it was in fact homicide - and who in this family of outlaws would rather some secrets stay buried.

As Annie sets out to find who killed the brother - and stays out of sight lest she be next - she finds herself searching abandoned, overgrown fields, scouring pool halls and roadside motels, wondering if she will ever escape the sense that her world in Garnett, TX expands and contracts in off-kilter ways, growing smaller and yet still more confounding. Fearing that in a place where everyone knows everyone, your enemy is always closer than you think."

Wait, is the brother that's killed his adopted brother or a newly found brother? Read to find out!

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This is a good thriller. Not great but good.

Annie is a PI and her new case is to find a Clint’s biological family but what she doesn’t know if that there is more to the story.

This is a good thriller. It has its fast paced moments but also slow moments that felt like they bragged on.

Annie the MC had some great connections with the side’s characters. You could definitely feel the closeness all of them have with each other.

I didn’t guess who the killer is maybe I’m just not a good detective 🤷🏼‍♀️ but it always leaves me mind blown 🤯.

Genre: Crime Mystery
APK: Ebook
Pages: 352
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Series or Standalone: Book #3 Annie McIntyre Mystery

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Next of Kin is the third in the Annie McIntyre series. I had appreciated the first in the series but never read the second. This works fine as a stand-alone.
Annie is a young PI, who works for her grandfather’s detective agency. He’s a former sheriff and has a huge reputation in town. They also have a strong relationship, which is a nice touch. She’s hired to help an adopted young man find his birth parents. Turns out, his birth father was a bank robber arrested by her grandfather. She also finds his brother, who shortly thereafter dies under mysterious circumstances. She takes it upon herself to investigate his death.
Allen does a good job of setting the scene. Characters are well formed. Annie keeps finding odd connections between individuals, but in small towns, is that so unusual?
I often struggle with mysteries where the one looking to get to the bottom is an amateur. Why the deep curiosity and willingness to risk one’s one life? That was part of the problem I had here. Allen never gave Annie a satisfactory reason to keep searching. The climax felt a little rushed and the ending had too much explanation (telling, not showing, as one of GR friends likes to say). But kudos, I didn’t figure out the whodonit.
The story lacked the pizzazz to give it a four star rating.
My thanks to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book.

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Annie is now a full partner in the private detective business started by her former sheriff grandfather and Mary Kate, his associate and friend in her hometown of Garnett in hardscrabble Texas. While the family is preparing for her cousin’s wedding, the best man, the groom’s adoptive brother, Clint, asks her help in finding his birth parents. As she investigates, she finds that Clint’s father was a bank robber arrested by her grandfather years ago. When Clint’s biological brother is found dead, it is declared a suicide, but that doesn’t sit right with Annie. She can’t resist further inquiry, even if it puts her and her loved ones in danger.

This is the third in the Annie McIntyre series. Although I have read all of them, this would work as a standalone. Intricately plotted, and a bit of a slow burn, the writing is atmospheric and descriptive. It is a good character study of small town Texas and the author paints an illuminating picture of the sights, smells, the feel of the area.

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Clint Marshall is a musician who hopes to make it in Nashville, Before he leaves Garnett, Texas, he asks private investigator Annie McKintyre to take his case. Clint was adopted out of foster care when he was four, and he wants Annie to find his birth parents. In hindsight, Annie's senior partners, her grandfather and her boss, would have warned her. Don't take adoption cases in a small community where everyone knows each other. It only takes a day for Annie to discover Clint's father is in prison for bank robbery, and he has a brother, Clay, who lives nearby, and has been involved with a local drug dealer. When Clint disappears, and Annie finds his brother dead, supposedly a suicide, she throws herself into a case when no one wants to know what Annie uncovers. She's followed, intimidated, and everyone from her grandfather to the drug dealer to the police wants to shut down her investigation.

The atmospheric mystery from the Tony Hillerman Award winner of Pay Dirt Road is a descriptive novel of a young PI analyzing her own feelings about her job and home in Garnett, as she searches for answers in the gritty pool halls, rundown motels, and dusty roads of Texas.

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I'm a fan of this series and I love seeing how Annie's life is evolving. I had a little trouble connecting with this one at the beginning and felt it was a little too much in places, if that makes sense. But as I neared the end, I was glad I'd hung in with it as it reached the conclusion. This one might make a better film than a book because I feel like some parts just needed too much explanation. Nonetheless, I will be eagerly awaiting the next book in this series.

Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. Go Annie!!!

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Annie’s next case involves searching for the birth parents a friend. She’s got a lot going on now with Nikki’s wedding and a drug dealer out to get her. The search becomes much more and may have ties to a decade old robbery. I was quickly turning the pages from the start right to the shocking end. Samantha Jayne Allen created another clever mystery with enough twists to keep me coming back for more.

*ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

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Small towns everywhere have a different vibe than cities, and when Annie, a private detective, is hired to find the birth mother of one of the friends she grew up with there is a risk of uncovering secrets meant to be kept. This is the third in the Annie McIntyre series, but is the first one I have read. It works as stand alone, but I will probably look for the previous novels, as the writing was good and it was a good mystery. Thanks to NetGalley for introducing the series with an arc and no pressure for a positive review.

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A thoughtful and complex mystery novel set in small town Texas with a yound PI who is getting her feet under her. I enjoy reading mysteries set in small towns - so much of our media is focused on big coastal cities, and the world is so different to those of us who grew up knowing just a little bit about everyone and having everyone know you. And small towns can be so much more dangerous than the city when there is nowhere to hide. Annie McIntyre is growing into a competent investigator in this third installment of the series. The complicated emotions and trauma around adoption are felt differently by everyone, and Allen handles that well here. A slower-paced mystery than many of the fast and gripping surface-level reads that are popular today.

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My Thoughts

Annie McIntyre is a young woman who has long revered and looked up to her Grandfather Leroy.

Now a full-fledged licensed PI in his firm she finds herself approached by a man in search of his biological roots, the answer to which turns out to be more complicated than it appeared to be at first.

Annie, her longtime boyfriend Wyatt, Grandad Leroy and longtime investigative partner Mary Pat have become characters I enjoy spending more time with.

Annie is finally into her role as an investigator that has learned to follow her instincts when it comes to understanding certain clues as she unearths them

Annie also is learning that her simple case is related to several others that Leroy was involved in years ago.

What happens when she puts all the pieces together is an intriguing journey for readers and at times a very perilous one for Annie.

Book three proved to be the best one of the series yet for me and hopefully not the last.
[EArc from Netgalley]

On every book read as soon as it is done and written up for review it is posted on Goodreads and Netgalley, once released then posted on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles as well.

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I have lukewarm feelings about this book. It's interesting to a point, but it's really annoying to another point. Annie is a cool character, but man, there is so much talk about weddings and family and yadda yadda yadda I had a hard time paying attention. Even the payoff wasn't that big of a deal. Oh well. It was okay.

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With each new book in the series, I become more and more hooked. Annie is back, taking on a case to help an acquaintance find his birth family. That opens Pandora’s box with a nemesis from a previous mystery on the fringes. Old crimes, forbidden relationships, and hidden agendas propel Annie to pursue the truth with her grandpa Leroy by her side. The ending had nice twists that were just out of my own reach when I was trying to guess the truth so I quite enjoyed how it all came together. I can’t wait to see what happens next to Annie.

Thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the arc.

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Maybe it’s better not to know your next of kin… Small town atmosphere, oppressive and intrusive, discovery of hidden connections, and a death make for a compelling story. I will definitely read the two previous books in the series.

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