Title: Killer Story
Author: Matt Witten
Publication: January 17, 2023
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
How far will she go to catch the killer—and make her podcast a hit?
Talented and idealistic young reporter Petra Kovach is on the brink of being laid off from her third failing newspaper in a row. To save her job, she pitches the launch of a true crime podcast about a sensational, unsolved murder.
Years earlier, an alt-right YouTuber was killed in her Harvard dorm room, and the case went cold. Petra knew the victim—she was once her camp counselor and loved her like a little sister, despite their political differences.
Petra’s investigation gets off to a rocky start, as her promising leads quickly shrivel up. In her passionate quest for justice—and clicks—Petra burns sources and breaks laws, ultimately putting her own life on the line. Even as her star rises, she worries it could all come crashing down at any moment if her actions are exposed.
When her machinations start to backfire, there’s only one way to fix everything and solve the murder—even though it may cost her everything she loves.
**A copy of this book was provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
As a big fan of Matt Witten’s first novel, The Necklace, I had really high hopes for Killer Story when I started it. I was hoping I’d get that suspense I loved so much from his first novel and a twisty, keep me guessing tale weaving through this book. Witten… did not disappoint.
The story follows Petra, who is a small town journalist with a little bit of PTSD from being fired or laid off repeatedly. With that she is trying really hard to justify her position at her current job and wants to help solve the murder of her friend. The issue is the crime is supposedly solved, but she disagrees. Right off the bat I find Petra slightly annoying. She was way too antsy for my liking, and constantly making promises to things she had no idea if she was going to be able to keep. Not the type of people I typically like, but she was desperate. Witten has a way, which is yet again seen in Killer Story, to make you feel really strongly for the characters in the book. There’s not a single one that I can just brush aside with a “they’re okay” feeling. I either love them, hate them, or are highly suspicious of them. Sometimes more than one of those.
The story flowed really nicely. While the mystery itself that she was working on was suspenseful and interesting, I found myself incredibly drawn by Petra’s own story. She was doing a lot of things most reporters do not do and cutting corners she shouldn’t. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time waiting for the consequences of these actions to hit. It was like suspenseful, but from multiple angles. Double suspense? Either way I was anxious for what seemed inevitable and completely rapt in the story. Way to hook me, Witten!
Killer Story really hooks you right from the beginning and even though I really didn’t like Petra as a person, her story was incredibly interesting and her behavior made me flip pages as fast as I could to see what was going to happen next and in response to her actions. Completely enthralling and a must read for all thriller lovers!