Title: The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 448 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A popular sorority girl. An unsolved murder. A campus podcast with chilling repercussions.
Lucas Vega is obsessed with the death of Candace Swain, who left a sorority party one night and never came back. Her body was found after two weeks, but the case has grown cold. Three years later while interning at the medical examiner’s, Lucas discovers new information, but the police are not interested.
Lucas knows he has several credible pieces of the puzzle. He just isn’t sure how they fit together. So he creates a podcast to revisit Candace’s last hours. Then he encourages listeners to crowdsource what they remember and invites guest lecturer Regan Merritt, a former US marshal, to come on and share her expertise.
New tips come in that convince Lucas and Regan they are onto something. Then shockingly one of the podcast callers turns up dead. Another hints at Candace’s secret life, a much darker picture than Lucas imagined—and one that implicates other sorority sisters. Regan uses her own resources to bolster their theory and learns that Lucas is hiding his own secret. The pressure is on to solve the murder, but first Lucas must come clean about his real motives in pursuing this podcast—before the killer silences him forever.
The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan is a brilliantly executed mystery from beginning to end.
Three years ago, sorority sister Candace Swain vanishes after a sorority party where she is seen arguing with a few of her friends. She then vanished without a trace and is later found murdered. Police quickly zero in on a suspect but no one has ever been arrested for the crime. Now a senior at the same university, criminology major Lucas Vega’s capstone project is a podcast of Candace’s murder. He is hoping his podcast will jog memories and new evidence will emerge. One of his guests is former US Marshall Regan Merritt whose assistance turns out to be invaluable to the podcast. When callers provide startling new information, will Regan and Vega identify Candace’s killer?
Lucas plays his cards close to his vest when meeting Regan. He is frustrated by the lack of cooperation with Candace’s sorority and faculty advisor Rachel Wagner. Although he does learn new details about the time Candace went missing, he is stressed by the lack of progress he is making. With Regan’s help, new leads begin coming in to the podcast, but will these new clues be enough for him to find everything he wants to know?
Following a personal tragedy, Regan leaves the Marshall Service and returns home. She is currently staying with her father, retired sheriff John Merritt, while she decides her future. Regan is happy to assist Lucas since it helps take her mind off her own troubles. But she is soon deeply invested in solving Candace’s murder. She knows Lucas is holding something back from her, but she tries to give him the space and time he needs to talk to her. However, the cold case takes on a new urgency following unexpected new developments. Regan begins to zero in on a suspect but will she and Lucas find the evidence they need for an arrest?
The Sorority Murder is a taut mystery that is full of suspense. The tension builds with each new clue and missing diary pages fill readers in about previously unknown details. Lucas and Regan are well-drawn, appealing characters who are easy to root for. Regan’s backstory is heartbreaking and she is uncertain what comes next for her. Lucas is smart but not exactly forthcoming with some parts of his personal history. The storyline is well-written and quite engrossing. With an unpredictable plot twist, Allison Brennan brings this spectacular mystery to an edge of the seat conclusion.