The Unkindness of Ravens
Author : M.E Hilliard
Genre : Mystery
Publisher : Crooked Lane Books
Release date : 13th April 2021
Greer Hogan is a librarian and an avid reader of murder mysteries. She also has a habit of stumbling upon murdered bodies. The first was her husband’s, and the tragic loss led Greer to leave New York behind for a new start in the Village of Raven Hill. But her new home becomes less idyllic when she discovers her best friend sprawled dead on the floor of the library.
Was her friend’s demise related to two other deaths that the police deemed accidental? Do the residents of this insular village hold dark secrets about another murder, decades ago? Does a serial killer haunt Raven Hill?
As the body count rises, Greer’s anxious musings take a darker turn when she uncovers unexpected and distressing information about her own husband’s death…and the man who went to prison for his murder . She is racked with guilt at the possibility that her testimony may have helped to convict an innocent man.
Though Greer admires the masters of deduction she reads about in books, she never expected to have to solve a mystery herself. Fortunately, she possesses a quick wit and a librarian’s natural resourcefulness. But will that be enough to protect her from a brilliant, diabolical murderer?
And even if Greer manages to catch the Raven Hill killer, will living with her conscience prove a fate worse than death?
Welcome to Raven Hill, where people tend to die mysteriously every now and then!
Right from the start, we meet our main character, Greer, librarian who moved here from New York not so long ago. When she discovers the body of her friend Joanna inside the old manor serving as a library, Greer is reminisced of her husbdand’s murder. Once again, she is the main suspect in a murder case. To clear herself and understand what happened to Joanna, Greer goes on to lead her own investigation.
At first, I had a problem with Greer meddling with the investigation, because yes, she is a suspect in a murder case, but usually, the worst thing to do is being seen snooping around about said murder. Even later on, she’s still obsessed with the murder when all she really had to do was rely on the police. Why do people take such big cases in their own hands thinking they can TOTALLY do police work when they’re not actual detectives? But well, that’s the concept of the book, and the general mood drew me into reading it, so I got invested in the plot fairly fast.
I liked Raven Hill, and I loved its manor-library. How cool is it to have a library in a MANOR??? I also liked the whole small US town vibe, where everyone knows everyone and their relatives! I alway wonder if it’s really like that. That sounds both insane and interesting.
Plot-wise, the book is well-written. I was sometimes annoyed by Greer witholding information from the police, but all in all, I liked discovering clues with her. As the story unravels, I was fascinated by what I was reading, and still, I never guessed who was guilty or why the murder happened, until the very end. This is all I really ask from a mystery, so that’s a win for me!
I don’t have much to say about the characters beside Greer, who I thought was a mix of annoying and brave (definitely a Gryffindor!) None of them stuck with me too much, but they were generally okay!
The Unkindness of Ravens is a fantastic debut novel by M.E Hilliard. Sure, there’s room for improvement, but she managed to give life to an entire town, give it a little spooky vibe to keep the reader on their toes, and create a well-constructed murder, all with a cosy-crime feel. Amazing feat !
Thank you for reading me 😀
See you soon,