Category Archives: Olivia Kiernan

Review: The Killer in Me by Olivia Kiernan

Title: The Killer in Me by Olivia Kiernan
Frankie Sheehan Series Book Two
Publisher: Dutton
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 349 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Penguin’s First to Read Program


A deadly past refuses to stay buried in Olivia Kiernan’s masterful new novel

Death is no stranger to Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan, but she isn’t the only one from her small, coastal suburb to be intimately acquainted with it. Years ago, teenager Seán Hennessey shocked the tight-knit community when he was convicted of the brutal murder of his parents and attempted slaying of his sister, though he always maintained his innocence. Now, Seán is finally being released from prison—but when his newfound freedom coincides with the discovery of two bodies, the alleged connection between the cases only serves to pull Frankie further from answers even as it draws her closer to her town’s hidden darkness. With a television documentary revisiting Seán’s sentence pushing the public’s sympathies into conflict on a weekly basis, a rabid media pressuring the police like never before, and a rising body count, Frankie will need all of her resources if she is not only to catch a killer, but put to rest what really happened all those years ago.

A dark, irresistible cocktail of secrets, murder, and family, Olivia Kiernan’s latest is an impossible-to-put-down triumph.


The Killer in Me by Olivia Kiernan is a suspense-laden mystery. Although this newest release is the second installment in the Frankie Sheehan series, it can be read as a standalone. However, I highly recommend the previous novel as well.

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan is uneasy when her sister-in-law Tanya West asks her to look into Seán Hennessy’s case. Tanya is working with Justice Meets Justice, a non-profit organization that investigates possible miscarriages of justice. Although convicted of murdering his parents and the attempted murder of his younger sister, Seán has always maintained his innocence. Recently released from prison, he is also cooperating with a documentary which is airing weekly. Hoping to find evidence that Seán was wrongly convicted, Tanya believes Frankie might find evidence that will exonerate him.

Reluctantly agreeing to review the case, Frankie is soon busy with a current investigation into the vexing murders of Geraldine and Alan Shine. Their bodies appear to be carefully staged with puzzling clues left at the scene.  Working closely with her partner Barry “Baz” Harwood and the rest of her team, Frankie is frustrated by a lack of evidence. The few clues they uncover lead to dead ends which leaves them struggling to understand why the couple was targeted for murder.  When a third body is discovered, Frankie is under even more pressure to unmask the killer(s). She, Baz and the rest of the squad feverishly work around the clock to find the evidence they need to find out the murderer’s identity.

In between working the current investigation,Frankie combs through Seán’s case files. She is troubled by some of the information she finds and she begins to believe Seán may be telling the truth.  Frankie thinks she might know what happened that terrible day, but will she find the evidence she needs to prove her theory?

The Killer in Me is a meticulously-plotted and tension filled mystery. Frankie is a multi-layered and fascinating character. The storyline is intriguing and the investigations are interesting and fast-paced. As the pieces of the puzzle rapidly fall into place, Olivia Kiernan brings this perplexing mystery to a twist-filled, jaw-dropping conclusion.  Readers of the genre are sure to enjoy this latest addition to the Frankie Sheehan series.

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Filed under Contemporary, Dutton, Frankie Sheehan Series, Mystery, Olivia Kiernan, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Killer in Me

Review: Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan

Title: Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan
Frankie Sheehan Series Book One
Publisher: Dutton
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 301 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Penguin’s First to Read Program


Olivia Kiernan’s tautly written debut novel immerses readers in a chilling murder case . . . and the tantalizing, enigmatic victim at the center of it all.

In a quiet Dublin suburb, within her pristine home, Eleanor Costello is found hanging from a rope.

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan would be more than happy to declare it a suicide. Four months ago, Frankie’s pursuit of a killer almost ended her life and she isn’t keen on investigating another homicide. But the autopsy reveals poorly healed bones and old stab wounds, absent from medical records. A new cut is carefully, deliberately covered in paint. Eleanor’s husband, Peter, is unreachable, missing. A search of the couple’s home reveals only two signs of personality: a much-loved book on art and a laptop with access to the Dark Web.

With the suspect pool growing, the carefully crafted profile of the victim crumbling with each new lead, and mysterious calls to Frankie’s phone implying that the killer is closer than anyone would like, all Frankie knows is that Eleanor guarded her secrets as closely in life as she does in death.

As the investigation grows more challenging, Frankie can’t help but feel that something doesn’t fit. And when another woman is found murdered, the same paint on her corpse, Frankie knows that unraveling Eleanor’s life is the only way to find the murderer before he claims another victim . . . or finishes the fate Frankie only just managed to escape.

Engrossing, complex, and atmospheric, Olivia Kiernan’s debut novel will leave readers breathless.


Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan is an enthralling mystery set in Dublin. This first novel in the Frankie Sheehan series is a clever police procedural with marvelous a cast of characters.

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan’s first case when she returns to work following a work-related injury appears to be a suicide but is, in fact, murder. Eleanor Costello is a microbiologist and guest lecturer at a nearby college and her teaching assistant Lorcan Murphy is definitely shaken by the news of her death. Interestingly enough, Eleanor’s husband Peter is missing which makes him Frankie’s prime suspect. The investigation is frustratingly slow paced since there is little evidence but the discovery of another victim, Amy Keegan, breathes new life into the case.  Will Frankie and her team catch the killer before he or she strikes again?

Frankie is a tenacious investigator with keen instincts which has contributed to her swift rise through the ranks. Although she has mostly recovered from her physical injuries, she does suffer from PTSD.  She has an excellent working relationship with Assistant Commissioner Jack Clancy and her partner on the case, Detective Baz Harwood.

The investigation into Eleanor’s murder reveals a few surprising details that are rather perplexing. What is the significance of the Prussian blue paint on the victim’s body? Where is Peter and does his disappearance have any connection to his wife’s murder? Is he responsible for some of the healed injuries that are discovered during Eleanor’s autopsy? What are Eleanor and Peter doing on the Dark Web? Is Lorcan being completely honest during his interviews? And if not, why? And last, but not least, why can Frankie not shake the troubling feeling that the current murders are somehow linked to a prior case?

Although initially a little slow paced, Close to Breathe is an engrossing mystery. Frankie Sheehan is an outstanding lead protagonist whose dedication to her job sometimes leads to impetuous decisions that put her in jeopardy. Baz is a fantastic partner who is extremely supportive even when he does not agree with Frankie. The investigation is fascinating and delves into the murky world of the Dark Web and the BDSM community. Olivia Kiernan brings the novel to a twist-filled and exciting conclusion. Fans of the genre are sure to enjoy this first installment in the Frankie Sheehan series.

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Filed under Contemporary, Dutton, Frankie Sheehan Series, Mystery, Olivia Kiernan, Rated B, Review, Suspense, Too Close to Breathe