Redmond forsakes Dickens’ London (Grave Expectations, 2019, etc.) to menace a very contemporary heroine with murder and its fallout.
You’ve got to feel for Amanda Meadows. When she finds her cousin Ryan Meadows dead at the bottom of her basement stairs, she realizes that she’s lost both one of the few family members she can claim as her own since her recent divorce and a lodger who provided her with a small but steady income stream. With problem-drinking University of Seattle Hospital janitor Ryan gone, she can only count on her own job as a hospital barista, supplemented by her modest earnings from the lifestyle video blog she runs with Vellum Moffat, her 15-year-old daughter, to keep the ship afloat. And her woes deepen when Detective Justin Ahola informs her that Ryan was bludgeoned to death with Mandy’s own hammer, making her a prime suspect. Even if Ahola ever decides that Mandy is no longer a person of interest, as of course he does, how much of an improvement is that? After all, she tells Reese O’Leary-Sett, a hospital nurse and rival vlogger, “It’s not like a stranger killed him. It has to be someone I know.” All in all, she’d prefer that the killer be one of Ryan’s shady friends, Dylan Tran or Alexis Ivanova, or Crystal Roswell, her own next-door neighbor and Ryan’s hookup—if only that wouldn’t leave Crystal’s son, Aiden, free to ride his skateboard at will over Mandy’s lawn. It’s probably too much to hope for that the culprit could be Cory Moffat, Mandy’s well-heeled, good-for-nothing ex. But what if it’s Dr. O’Halloran, the surgeon Mandy and her co-worker Kit Savva call Dr. O’Hottie?
A middling demicozy with hints of romance, hints of crime, and a seemly moderation of information about video journaling.