Book Review: The Birds That StayThe Birds That Stay by Ann Lambert
Series: A Russel and Leduc Mystery #1
Published by Second Story Press on February 19, 2019
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Format: ARC
Source: Netgalley
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A chilling mystery set deep in the heart of the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec where the sins of the past come back to wreak devastating consequences on the present.

In a small village in the Laurentians north of Montreal, a reclusive older woman is found strangled and frozen outside her home. Roméo Leduc, the enigmatic Chief Inspector for Homicide, is one day away from his first vacation in years, and reluctantly answers the call on the case. Roméo suspects a local biker gang is involved in what appears to be a robbery gone awry—or was the old woman a victim of a violent hate crime?

Marie Russell, a 58-year old writer and divorced mother of two, lives next door to the victim. Marie becomes an inadvertent detective when her mother, suffering from dementia, offers a startling clue that links the woman's murder to a terrible incident that happened on Marie's suburban Montreal street in the 1970's. Together, Marie and Roméo discover that the murder goes even further back, to another crime during the darkest days in Hungary at the end of WWII. As they combine wits to find the killer, they are forced to face demons from their own pasts as they confront a cast of characters from the Quebec of yesterday and today; where no one and nothing is really as it seems.

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My Thoughts

The Birds That Stay starts when Anna Newman, an old lady living in their secluded town, was murdered. These things don’t happen there so Romeo Leduc conducts an investigation. It looks like a robbery at first until Marie Russell’s mother provides a clue about the identity of Anna Newman. Things aren’t like they seem and people are not who you think they area.

I really don’t know how I would describe and rate this book. I have mixed feelings about different parts and aspects of the book and I don’t know which feeling will overcome all the others.

At the beginning, I really liked it especially on how good the descriptions about the setting is. I think the setting which is a small town in Canada was painted so elaborately. I could see in my head the seclusion that the author wants to convey. I also really liked how the suburban street was described. Marie Russell, one of the main characters, grew up in a suburban street and as she drive through it, she recalls her moments on that street. That part seemed like it was just a filler but it was important later on.

I also really liked the plot. It was complex and it has offered a lot of new information to me. It’s interesting to read about these things because you can’t really see it in other books. I also liked how I didn’t guess the reason behind the murder. I really thought that Anna Newman was killed for a different reason than what is revealed.

However, that’s all I really liked about this book. I found myself confused half the time. There were so many characters and there were so many things going on at the same time. The connection between the characters are only unraveled on the second half of the book. It gets better on that part but you really have to get through the dull parts to get to that. I thought about DNF-ing this book more than 10x. The author’s writing style isn’t just for me.

I also didn’t enjoy the characters. They all seem flat and I couldn’t connect with anyone. There’s different POV in this book but you can’t really distinguish because they all just think the same. I also didn’t care much about the unnecessary romance. I really think that this book would do okay even without an attachment between the two main characters.

Overall, I think that this book had it’s good parts… but it wasn’t just for me. I still think though that this book has something interesting to offer and may be worth for you to try.

My Rating:

One StarOne Star

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