Review: If It Walks Like A Killer (The Carolina Killer Files Book 1) by Kiersten Modglin

Review by CoraKenborn 

 If this is Modglin’s debut novel, remember her name, people. You will soon see it again—on the NYT Best Seller’s list. As I read this book, I kept telling myself there was absolutely NO way this intricately woven unique plot could be from a first time author. If anyone was meant to be a crime fiction writer, it’s Kiersten Modglin.

I’ll be honest, Modglin hooked me in the beginning simply because she set her tale in my neck of the woods of North Carolina. That alone would’ve had me reading it, but I love a good thriller, so the combination already had a partial thumbs up from me. I still wasn’t sure what to expect, so I dove right in and was shocked at what I found.

Not many authors can pull off multiple POV books. It’s hard enough to make each character stand out with their own personality and voice, but to start each chapter with their own POV, is a feat few can take on and do well. Modglin does this with at least seven or eight different characters in the third person and not only is effective, is flawless. It didn’t feel choppy or forced at all. Whether she wrote from the mind of an elderly judge or a little girl, the reader actually feels as if they are in that character’s head. That ability is a gift.

If It Walks Like A Killer follows the story of Caide and Rachael Abbott, a seemingly normal late twenty-something married North Carolina couple with two kids and the perfect life. Except it’s not so perfect. Caide works late nights at his law firm, Rachael is a bitter and stressed out mom and miscommunication is the name of the game.

Just like every other home in America, right?

Wrong. Most other homes in America don’t have the police showing up to arrest the happy housewife for murdering her husband’s secretary (who just happens to be his mistress.) The catch? Rachael is in shock. She has no idea why the police think she could have done such a thing. She didn’t even know Caide was having an affair.

Until security tapes show her on tape committing a murder she can’t remember.

Rachael claims she’s innocent. Caide grieves his mistress and doesn’t know what to believe, so he hires his firm’s competition to represent his wife. Angus is the only one who believes Rachael is innocent. But with DNA and video linking her to the crime, time is running out to save the woman everyone has already convicted.

I won’t say too much more because I feel like I will be giving away too many spoilers and secrets of the plot. Let’s just say that I’m sitting here typing this still dumbfounded. It is rare that I don’t have somewhat of an inkling as to who the killer is, or what the outcome of a story might be.

Modglin threw me for about twenty loops and spun me around until I passed out with this one. I didn’t see the hits coming. One by one, she systematically knocked my theories out and dropped bombs on me I never saw coming.

Not only is the crime thriller and drama superbly written, the interpersonal backstories of the characters are surprisingly deep and heartfelt. The reader cares strongly for these characters and what they go through during the course of the book. The scorned but vulnerable housewife, the philandering but apologetic husband, the determined and kind-hearted lawyer, and even the hard-assed but fair district attorney all make you feel for them as individuals. That’s a difficult task in a thriller and Modglin does it with ease.

The author’s either knowledge or research into the courtroom, legal system, police procedures, hospital procedures, child protective procedures, psychological disorders, etc., were amazing. She had obviously spent a lot of time getting accurate information pertinent to her scenes.

I’m excited this book is part of a series, because I can’t wait to read what Modglin has in store for us next. Definitely pick this book up, you won’t be sorry. Just make sure you have a pot of coffee ready and somewhere comfy to sit, because you won’t be able to put this one down.  

*And after you read it, come back and let me know if I’m not the only one who kept hearing the Law and Order jingle in my head between chapters*

Author Bio: Kiersten Modglin lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and their two Boston Terriers, Cedric and Chloe. A psychology fanatic, lover of Netflix, coffee and all things Harry Potter, Kiersten can almost always be found curled up in her favorite writing chair with a good book. Kiersten writes psychological suspense novels that explore the darkest parts of human nature and the inner workings of twisted minds. Writing has always been an important part of Kiersten’s life; for her, this is just the beginning.

Twitter: @kjanaealways




Instagram: @_kjanae_

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