Book Review | The Third to Die by Allison Brennan

Book Description

New York Times bestselling author and gifted storyteller Allison Brennan’s new standalone thriller features a troubled female police detective and an ambitious FBI special agent who wind up at the center of a ticking-clock investigation into a diabolical serial killer.

Brennan’s novel will launch a book-a-year series featuring a fabulous cast of recurring characters. It’s the story of a troubled female police detective and an ambitious FBI special agent who wind up at the center of a ticking-clock investigation into a diabolical serial killer; and the bond they forge in this crucible sets the stage for the future books in the series.

Detective Kara Quinn is visiting her hometown of Liberty Lake, Washington, after being placed on administrative leave by the LAPD, when she comes upon the mutilated body of a young nurse during an early morning jog. The manner of death is clearly ritualistic; she calls it in. Meanwhile back in DC, special agent in charge Mattias Costa is meticulously staffing his newly-minted Mobile Response Team. One of his first recruits is the brilliant FBI forensic psychologist Catherine Jones. When word reaches Matt that the Washington state murder appears to be the work of the Triple Killer–it will be the first case for the MRT. Jones has done the only profile on this serial killer, but she is reluctant to join the unit, still shaken by the death of her sister a year ago under circumstances for which she holds herself responsible. But only she holds the key to understanding the killer’s obsessive pattern–three murder victims, three deep slashes a piece, each three days apart, each series beginning on a March 3rd–3/3, then a three-year hiatus before he strikes again.

This time they have a chance to stop him before he claims another victim strikes, but only if they can figure out who he is and where is is hiding.


The Third to Die : A Novel Allison Brennan
On Sale Date: February 4, 2020
9780778309444, 0778309444
$26.99 USD, $33.50 CAD
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
464 pages

My Review | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Third to Die is a suspenseful page-turner about a small FBI team sent to Eastern Washington to catch a serial killer who has just struck again.  LAPD undercover detective, Kara Quinn, happens to find the body soon after the murder, giving the FBI a chance of solving the case before two more people die – because this killer strikes in 3s, three days apart, starting on March 3rd every three years.  After he kills the third person, he disappears and doesn’t emerge again for three more years, which has made it challenging to discover the identity of the killer – until maybe now.

What I Love

Usually, my “favorite character” section would be here, but this time what I loved about this novel and my favorite character are the same.  Kara Quinn is a character for which I will happily read this series for many years to come.  She is complicated with such a  level of depth and dimension that I feel like I can anticipate her reaction to things beyond even the story.

Kara is focused and determined with an intelligence and a keen eye that make bosses love her, and others hate her simply because they aren’t her.  They resent her natural abilities, which they could only hope to have, and the fact that many others sing her praises.  In spite of this, she can blend in undercover and catch the lowest of low criminals.

She loves her job, and she knows she is good at it. She doesn’t care what other people think as long as she is happy with her performance. She doesn’t live to please others; she lives to help people by catching the bad guys and bringing them to justice. She is a wonderful character, and a large part of the reason I gave this story 5-stars.

What Else I Like

The story has odious police chiefs and even a very hateful FBI agent in LA, but I liked that they only had small parts in the story.  I tend to get annoyed with a story when I have to spend lengths of time with this type of character, but luckily they just had appearances now and again.

I also really liked the plot – even if it is predictable – and wanted more when I reached the end.  The amount of times I tapped the screen to turn the page when there were no more pages to turn to is a testament to this fact. 

To Read or Not to Read

It is a suspenseful thrill-ride made more intense by interspersed chapters written from the serial killer’s perspective – a must read!

Lovers of Patricia Cornwall and Kathy Reichs or their tv equivalents in Criminal Minds and Bones should enjoy this novel as well.

Thank you to NetGalley and MIRA books for granting me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Also, a special thank you to Justine Sha and Harlequin Trade for organizing this blog tour and for giving me a spot on the tour.

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Books-A-Million | AppleBooks | Google Play

Meet Allison Brennan

Social Links:
Author website:
Facebook: @AllisonBrennan
Twitter: @Allison_Brennan
Instagram: @abwrites

Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of three dozen thrillers and numerous short stories. She was nominated for Best Paperback Original Thriller by International Thriller Writers, has had multiple nominations and two Daphne du Maurier Awards, and is a five-time RITA finalist for Best Romantic Suspense. Allison believes life is too short to be bored, so she had five kids. Allison and her family live in Arizona. Visit her at

Q & A with Allison Brennan

8 Replies to “Book Review | The Third to Die by Allison Brennan”

  1. It sounds exciting. Thanks for this mindful review, Tess. I enjoyed what you said about liking & knowing the character so much that you could anticipate her beyond the story. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds wonderful. And I agree that odious police chiefs should be kept to a minimum. The main character sounds great and I can see why the book was a favorite. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. omg I totally didn’t realize this but I finished reading yesterday, which was Mar.3 and there I was wondering why I was so jumpy the whole day haha

    Liked by 1 person

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