The Revenge List by Hannah Mary McKinnon #bookreview #excerpt #mindblowing #thriller #thrillerthursday

Thank you to HTP Books for my spot on this blog tour.
The Revenge List : A Novel 
Hannah Mary McKinnon
On Sale Date: May 23, 2023
Trade Paperback
$18.99 USD
368 pages

As a therapy exercise, a woman writes a list of people she wants to forgive, and thinks nothing of it when she loses it in an Uber…until one by one the people on the list become victims of freak accidents. Set in Portland, Maine, Hannah Mary McKinnon’s breakout suspense novel THE REVENGE LIST will appeal to fans of Lisa Unger, Joshilyn Jackson, and Tarryn Fisher.

Following an epic run-in with a client who threatened to pull out of a contract at her father’s company if she doesn’t suffer some consequences, Frankie Morgan agrees to go to anger management. With the business struggling with cash-flow and her brother needing help with the medical bills for his sick daughter, she can’t risk harming the business further. But that doesn’t mean she’ll be happy about attending.

During the first session, the group is asked to spend some quiet time exploring their pasts and sitting with the emotions that generates, before making a start on a Forgiveness List—a list of people with whom they’re angry and might work on forgiving. She begrudgingly goes along with it and doesn’t worry too much when she forgets the list in an Uber on her way home. It shouldn’t matter—it was just a therapy exercise—except a few days later the first person on that list is injured in a freak accident. When the second person gets hurt, she hopes it’s coincidence. After the third is targeted, she knows it’s a pattern. And she’s in trouble. Because the next name on that list is…hers.


Hannah Mary McKinnon was born in the UK, grew up in Switzerland, and moved to Canada in 2010. After a successful career in recruitment, she quit the corporate world in favor of writing. She now lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband and three sons and is delighted by her twenty-second commute. Connect with her on Facebook, on Twitter @HannahMMcKinnon, and on Instagram @HannahMaryMcKinnon. For more, visit her website,


What’s it about (in a nutshell):

The Revenge List by Hannah Mary McKinnon is the story of Frankie Morgan and what happened when she tried to get her anger in check by attending an anger management group session.  The forgiveness list she creates that night gets turned into a revenge list but by who?

My Reading Experience:

This is another wonderful thriller by McKinnon.  I just loved it. The secrets upon secrets, the fast pace, the twists and turns, the potentially unreliable narrator, and the creepy ending all work together to create a mind-blowing thrill ride that I found hard to put down.

I also enjoyed that Frankie is not instantly liable.  As a matter of fact, I actively disliked her for most, if not all, of the story.  Her anger is so off-putting to a no-drama person like me.  But what I did like is that she may very well be unreliable and even the one that is committing acts of revenge.  There are lots of possibilities. What could be better than that?

Like most good thrillers, the less I say, the better.  This story is easy to immerse yourself in, and the quick pace keeps your eyes glued to the page.  It has so many elements that I absolutely love in a thriller; as a matter of fact, I can’t think of any that it didn’t have.


Frankie Morgan is a woman in her early thirties who works as a project manager for her father’s construction company.  She has one big problem, though.  She can’t control her temper, and that leads her down a path of very bad choices.  When she makes her forgiveness list for the anger management group, she realizes that even if she is on the list of people, she needs to learn how to forgive.

Narration & Pacing:

The narration is in first person, with Frankie telling the tale.  It is possible that she’s an unreliable narrator, but that’s something you can’t be sure of until all is revealed.  First-person narration works very well in this story keeping the pace quick and the secrets hidden.


The story is set in Portland, Maine.  At first, I thought it was Portland, Oregon, but my mistake was quickly obvious the further I read.  I think the low population of Maine works well for this story.  I’m unsure that I determined any further reason for the choice of setting.

Read if you like:

  • Fast-paced thrillers
  • Potentially unreliable narrators
  • Morally gray main characters

Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Writing Quality10
Character Development7
‘Couldn’t Put It Down’-ness10
Use of Setting8
All scores, except the overall rating, are on a scale of 1-10. The overall rating is converted to the standard 5-point system.



The sharp sound of a high-pitched scream filled the air. A noise so unrecognizable, at first I didn’t register it had come from deep within me, traveling up my throat in stealth mode before bursting from my mouth.

The remnants of the yell reverberated around the car, forcing their way into my ears and penetrating my skull, urging me to do something. Survival instincts kicked in, and I fumbled with the seatbelt, my other hand grasping for the door handle. The need for the relative safety that solid, stationary ground would bring was so intense it made my stomach heave. A loud click of the central locking system meant my captor had outsmarted me again, obliterating my immediate plan to throw myself from the moving vehicle.

When I looked out the windshield, I knew there was no time to find an alternate escape. The end of the road—the edge of the cliff—announced by signs and broken red-and-white-striped wooden barricades, had been far enough away seconds ago but now gleamed in the car’s headlights, a looming warning yards ahead. I couldn’t comprehend what was about to happen, couldn’t do anything as the vehicle kept going, splintering planks and racing out the other side with nothing but air below. I let out another scream, far louder than my first, the absolute terror exploding from my lungs.

For the briefest of moments, we were suspended, as if this was a magic trick or an elaborate roller coaster. Perhaps, if I were really lucky, this was all a dream. Except I already knew there were no smoke and mirrors, no swirling track leading us through loop-the-loops and to safety. It wasn’t a nightmare I’d wake from with bedsheets wrapped around my sweaty body. This was happening. It was all terrifyingly real.

As the car continued its trajectory, it tipped forward. The only thing to stop our momentum was whatever we were rushing toward, obscured by the cloudy night skies. Pushing my heels into the floor, I tried to flatten my shoulders against the seat. My hands scrambled for the ceiling to brace myself, but I flopped like a rag doll, my loosened seatbelt tearing into my shoulder.

They say your life flashes before you when you’re close to death. That didn’t happen to me. Instead, it was all my regrets. Choices I’d made. Not made. Things I’d said and done. Not said. Not done. It was far too late to make amends. There would be no opportunity to beg anyone for forgiveness. No possibility of offering some.

As the finality of the situation hit me full on, I turned my head. The features of the driver next to me were illuminated in a blueish glint from the dashboard lights. His face had set in a stony grimace; his jaw clenched so tight he had to have shattered teeth. But what frightened me the most were his eyes, filled with what could only be described as maniacal delight.

He’d said we were both going to die. As the car hurtled to the bottom of the cliff, I closed my eyes and accepted he was right.


Excerpted from The Revenge List by Hannah Mary McKinnon, Copyright © 2023 by Hannah McKinnon. Published by MIRA Books.

9 Replies to “The Revenge List by Hannah Mary McKinnon #bookreview #excerpt #mindblowing #thriller #thrillerthursday”

  1. This sounds super fun, I like unlikable characters when they’re written well. Fantastic review!


  2. I’m always a fan of morally gray characters and potentially unreliable narrators. They always keep me guessing. You’ve had a nice string of good ones lately, Tessa!


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