4 out of 4 stars
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The Oceanside Murders by Karen Woodland-Hagon is a mystery novel set on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. The main character is Sergeant Elle Costa, a female Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer. The RCMP are the federal police in Canada. Elle moved to Vancouver Island, from Toronto, approximately two to three years ago. She was looking for a quieter lifestyle. Elle and her partner, Sergeant Chris McKay, are in charge of investigating a series of murders of middle-aged men who are left on different beaches on Vancouver Island. The victims are each missing a key piece of their anatomy.
The story starts right away with the first victim. The book opens on Beachcomber Bay with a man propped up against a beach log. The RCMP are there because, although he looks like a sleeping drunk, he is actually the first murder victim. We are quickly introduced to the main characters and the interesting details of the case. As the story continues, there are more victims with similar details. The investigators work to find out what ties the victims together and how the few clues they have might lead them to the killer.
What I liked most about this book was the interplay between the characters. We got to know a bit about the personal lives of a few of the characters. It was a good mix of learning about the main people in the book and focusing on the investigation. I also really appreciated how the book was organized. The story switched back and forth between the investigators and the perpetrator. This was done smoothly and without giving anything away unintentionally. I enjoyed getting the perspectives from both sides of the mystery.
What I disliked the most was the resolution of the mystery at the end of the story. I was a bit disappointed with how everything turned out. I truly enjoyed the mystery all the way along, however; I do wish the author had made some different choices at the end. That is truly my own preference, though. I am sure that there are many readers who will really enjoy the ending.
I give The Oceanside Murders by Karen Woodland-Hagon 4 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed this murder mystery. The story was a bit darker than I normally like and the ending was not my favourite. However, those are personal choices, and I feel that this book was very well done. It was a well-crafted plot with enough clues and misdirection to keep the reader very interested. I did find some errors within the book, but they were mostly true typos. This book appears to be professionally edited. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy a good mystery with a little bit of a dark theme thrown in. I do not recommend this book to readers who enjoy having every single loose end tidied up at the end of the story.
The Oceanside Murders
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