The Atonement Murders
Agent Victoria Heslin Series Book 7
by Jenifer Ruff
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Pub Date 14 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 01 Apr 2023
A long-hidden secret. A shocking motive.
When detectives find the same message—THIS IS YOUR ATONEMENT—at the staged scenes of four seemingly unrelated homicides, FBI Special Agent Victoria Heslin must uncover the connection between them to identify the killer.
The crimes are scattered across the East Coast. The victims are in their late twenties: an All-Star NBA player, an investment banker, a dental hygienist, and a bartender.
Who is punishing them? What have they done? And who might be next?
Victoria delves into the victims’ pasts, traveling from Boston to Charlotte to the North Carolina mountains, unraveling the dark mystery that links the crimes. As the killer’s motive becomes clear, Victoria is in a race to the finish that she must not lose.
The Atonement Murders is book 7 in the award-winning Agent Victoria Heslin mystery-thriller series. Each of the books features a standalone investigation which concludes at the end.
“The Atonement Murders is the latest page-turning installment in Jenifer Ruff's Victoria Heslin series. Past secrets, an engaging plot, and memorable characters captivated me until the very end. I loved this book!” - Laura Wolfe, Amazon Charts Bestselling Author of The In-Laws
“Buried secrets, a hidden past, and murder lie at the heart of the newest exciting thriller from Jenifer Ruff, which will leave you wanting more until the end.”- Audrey J. Cole, USA Today Bestselling Author of The Pilot’s Daughter
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 14 members
Good book! This book had a bit of everything! It had suspense, intrigue, murder, mystery, serial killer, A great who done it, great police work and a few crazy twists and turns! The storyline was very interesting and kept me glued to my Kindle! I definitely recommend reading this book as it was well worth reading! Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for sharing this book with me!
Author Jenifer Ruff returns with the 7th installment of her Agent Victoria Heslin series, solid police procedurals with a great main character — all of which can be read as standalone thrillers, too.
The author has been building Victoria’s character throughout the series, and, as a result, we get a main character who is reliable, intelligent and determined (and needs to hydrate more often). What’s not to like about an FBI agent with a good reputation, who’s an avowed animal lover (Happy Farms Chickens be damned) and engaged to a likable veterinarian? Based on her impeccable credentials, Victoria is chosen to investigate two murders, one in Boston, one in Charlotte. The Boston victim was an NBA athlete; the Charlotte victim was a former classmate/teammate of the superstar. When their bodies were found, the phrase “This Is Your Atonement” was written in lipstick near the bodies. Later, another seemingly unrelated murder victim marked with that phrase is discovered.
Victoria is more than competent — I was amazed that she always looked for pet water bowls in homes as a sign that the resident could take off at any time for as long as they wanted without worrying about pet care.
I love these kinds of police procedurals with plots that unravel as the trusted lead investigator discovers clues and connections, yet she’s not an unbelievable superwoman (and gets locked out of her hotel room by accident). These types of police thrillers are sort of like beach books for me. Thank you, Jenifer Ruff, for making Agent Victoria Heslin one of my favorites. 5 stars! This book will also be available via Kindle Unlimited (another great reason to have a subscription).
Thank you to BooksGoSocial/Greyt Companion Press and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review!
Literary Pet Peeve Checklist:
Green Eyes (only 2% of the real world, yet it seems like 90% of all fictional females): NO It’s not a trope this author succumbs to (yay!). Gray-blue, sky blue, brown, bloodshot and red, but no green eyes.
Horticultural Faux Pas (plants out of season or growing zones, like daffodils in autumn or bougainvillea in Alaska): NO Tall trees are mentioned often and since this novel is set in Charlotte and specifically Myers Park, they are probably willow oaks.
Agent Victoria has made a name for herself, she‘s reliable and thorough with
cases she investigates. In this she has two cases, in different locations.
A message is left beside the victims, to figure out.
A good police description plot and the character of Victoria builds more in
each book. Readers will enjoy this story as well as the series, that is well written
Given ARC by Net Galley and books go social for my voluntary review
As usual, a well written procedural with excellent characters. Entertaining and very smooth reading, except for too many jumps in time and place.
What an intricate, well-crafted mystery!
In North Carolina, a real estate agent walks into a showing to find the current owner dead in the bathtub, with "THIS IS YOUR ATONEMENT" written on the mirror of the scene.
Two months later, an NBA star is found dead in his home in Boston with the same message.
The state officials contact the FBI as these two very different men have very similar crime scenes. Enter Agent Victoria Heslin.
This is my first in the Victoria Heslin series, and I really appreciated being able to read this as a stand-alone. Much of her past was referenced, but not stressed upon to where you felt confused if you were just entering this FBI agent's world.
I really enjoyed the pacing of this novel and how all the pieces came together in such a natural way. None of the clues or leads seemed forced, which made reading it all the more exciting. Heslin herself is a wonderful character and not only did I love her detective work, but I loved her as a person. All of the references to her past definitely have me wanting to go back and start the series from the beginning as it seems like she has gone through some crazy things!
Overall, I loved this mystery. I thought the chain of events that led to the killer's actions were laid out perfectly, and while I did have a hunch about a big twist, enough happened that had me questioning my guess, which I loved.
Definitely enjoyed my time reading this story and I'm looking forward to reading more by Ruff in the future!
Thank you to NetGalley & BooksGoSocial for the ARC in exchange for an honest review :)
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