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Review: The Third to Die by Allison Brennan

Title: The Third to Die by Allison Brennan
Mobile Response Team Series Book One
Publisher: Mira
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 464 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


An edgy female police detective…An ambitious FBI special agent. Together they are at the heart of the ticking-clock investigation for a psychopathic serial killer. The bond they forge in this crucible sets the stage for high-stakes suspense.

Detective Kara Quinn, on leave from the LAPD, is on an early morning jog in her hometown of Liberty Lake when she comes upon the body of a young nurse. The manner of death shows a pattern of highly controlled rage. Meanwhile in DC, FBI special agent Mathias Costa is staffing his newly minted Mobile Response Team. Word reaches Matt that the Liberty Lake murder fits the profile of the compulsive Triple Killer. It will be the first case for the MRT. This time they have a chance to stop this zealous if elusive killer before he strikes again. But only if they can figure out who he is and where he is hiding before he disappears for another three years. The stakes are higher than ever before, because if they fail, one of their own will be next…


The first mystery in the Mobile Response Team series, The Third to Die by Allison Brennan is a clever law enforcement procedural.

Los Angeles Police Detective Kara Quinn is on administrative leave in her hometown when she stumbles across a dead body. The murder immediately attracts the attention of a newly formed FBI unit and Special Agent in Charge Mathias “Matt” Costa and his team are rapidly deployed from DC to investigate the case.  They are certain this recent death is the work of an elusive serial killer dubbed the Triple Killer. Working quickly to try to prevent the next murder, Kara, Matt, local police officer Andy Knolls and several police agencies are putting in long hours to try to identify the next victim and the killer.

Kara is an undercover detective whose last case resulted in her being put on administrative leave. Chafing at the bit to get back to work, she  does not hesitate to lend her expertise during the intense investigation into the  Triple Killer. Despite her sometimes brusque manner, Kara is a sharp detective with keen instincts. She proves to be invaluable to Matt and his squad as they narrow down their victim pool as they work quickly to protect suspected victims while trying to find find the killer.

While making progress with the victim list, a suspect proves to be elusive.  There are several elements of the killer’s murders that are a known quantity.  Despite the lack of leads, Matt is certain these latest killings and the murderer are connected to the area. He is also sure the victims are somehow linked, but finding the connection is frustratingly elusive.

The mystery element is intriguing and the cast of characters is appealing. However, the vast quantity of characters is confusing and difficult to keep up with.  Savvy readers will most likely pick up on clues long before Kara, Matt or other law enforcement officers. The plot is  interesting but the story gets bogged down with too many characters, lack of character development and  references to an event that took place prior to the current case.

The Third to Die is a tension-filled mystery with a fascinating crime to solve. Kara and Matt are likable and relatively well-developed. The investigation moves in fits and starts but it really picks up steam for the last quarter of the novel. Allison Brennan brings to the novel to explosive, action-packed conclusion. Despite a bit of a bumpy start, the Mobile Response Team series promises to be an adrenaline laced and unique crime fighting series.

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