BOOK REVIEW: Aftershock by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell

Title: Aftershock
Author: Judy Melinek; T.J. Mitchell
Publication: January 19, 2020
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller, Medical Fiction
Pages: 255

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

There’s a body crushed under a load of pipes on a San Francisco construction site, and medical examiner Dr. Jessie Teska is on call. So it’s her job to figure out who it is—and her headache when the autopsy reveals that the death is a homicide staged as an accident.

Jessie is hot on the murderer’s trail, then an earthquake sends her and her whole city reeling. When the dust clears, her case has fallen apart and an innocent man is being framed. Jessie knows she’s the only one who can prove it, and she races to piece together the truth—before it gets buried and brings her down in the rubble.

With Melinek and Mitchell’s trademark blend of propulsive prose, deft plotting and mordant humor, this rollicking new installment in the Jessie Teska Mystery series will shake you up and leave you rattled.


**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

I had never heard of Judy Melinek or T.J. Mitchell before, but the cover of Aftershock was what first caught my eye. Then it was the description. Solving a murder, but through the eyes of the medical examiner? Sign me up! I’ve read what seems like a million mystery/thrillers in my time, and this was a new concept for me. Something new and intriguing. I had to read it.

Melinek and Mitchell do not disappoint. From chapter one you are greeted with interesting and intense characters. Dr. Jessie Teska is sassy, yet professional and has the smarts to put any man or woman to shame. She doesn’t take any crap from anyone and I might have a slight girl crush on her. She is fierce. We also meet many side characters including her friend Sparkle, her cousin Baby Mike (who can clear a mexican food truck in a way that makes me so proud), Teska’s boyfriend Anup, and so many more. I always say while the main characters make the story, the supporting characters make it interesting. Melinek and Mitchell have some of my favorite supporting characters I have ever read.

This story will not leave you bored at any point. No matter if Teska is digging in dirt for blood or taking her dog for a walk, it all seems very important, very intense, and like at any moment the other shoe will drop. I loved how enthralled I was the entire time. Not a single down moment. It’s hard to find books that hook you and hold you with not a single dip in momentum. The writing is smooth and even shocking at times. The details prove these authors did their research in all fields related to this story. Best of all, you will NOT see the end coming. I’ve gotten pretty good at guessing what is going to happen and my mouth literally dropped open when the final clue clicked into place.

Aftershock is witty, shocking, exciting, and will keep your blood pumping from page one to the end. You will love this novel whether you love mystery/thriller novels or not. It’s that good. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go pick up any other novel Melinek and Mitchell have ever written.


Pick up your copy of Aftershock by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or check your local bookstore tomorrow, January 19th, 2021. Make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. Check more from both authors on their website HERE.

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2 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Aftershock by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell

  1. Holy cow, Kristin—I guess you liked it!

    I’ve forwarded this review to our cover designers so that they can see that, yes indeed, their hard work pays off. So gratifying to read this fully enthusiastic review of our latest book! I guarantee your girl crush on Jessie will get deeper when you pick up the debut in the series, First Cut. Beyond that, the first book Judy & I wrote together, Working Stiff, is narrative nonfiction—her memoir of training as a forensic pathologist. It’s a New York Times bestseller and is written in much the same narrative voice (1st person, woman doctor telling her story) as the novels, so I’m confident you’ll want to read that book, too. Links are at

    Thank you so much for validating our efforts and boosting our latest baby!

    1. You two sure did write a wonderful book. I cannot wait til pick up First Cut. In fact, I think I will swing over to Amazon and do that now so I don’t forget. I will also pick up Working Stiff. I love interesting non-fiction, and true crime so this is right up my alley! Looking forward to more from you.

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