An Unwilling Suspect by Jo A. Hiestand

An Unwilling Suspect by Jo A. Hiestand
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (155 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Review by Rose

McLaren’s fiancée tragically died one month ago. Trying to heal emotionally from her death, McLaren settles into a rented farmhouse in the woods near picturesque Lake Windermere, in Cumbria. But he’s barely had a chance to rest when Helen, the woman in the neighboring cottage, is killed…and is discovered near his front door.

Because McLaren had spent much of the previous day with her, and his snowy footprints lead to and from her house, he becomes the prime murder suspect in what the police label a frustrated romantic advance.

Motives for Helen’s murder are as chilling as the outdoor temperature. There’s the hands-on garage mechanic who’d like to put his hands all over her, the affluent fishing guide, and Helen’s former boyfriend who wanted to renew the relationship.

Can McLaren find the killer before the police jail him for murder?

This is the 7th book in the McLaren mystery series, and they just keep getting better and more intense. This volume begins with McLaren mourning the death of his fiancée—and his friends are worried about him. He is offered a place of refuge where he can deal with Dena’s death (and where there aren’t so many memories). What is supposed to be a quiet, restful time, however, turns out to be anything but when a neighbor he had helped gets murdered, and the clues point squarely at McLaren.

McLaren is at his best when he’s solving a problem, and here he has a doozy of one! Having once been a policeman, he knows how to deal with the locals when they come by, and he, along with his friend Jamie, sift through what they know and what they can learn in order to find out who killed Helen and who is trying to frame (and possibly kill) McLaren himself.

Ms. Hiestand does a wonderful job with the emotional and physical aspects of grief—I could feel the pain McLaren was going through. Her descriptions of the area as well are so well-drawn that I could picture myself right there.

If you’ve not tried the McLaren mysteries before, don’t hesitate to pick this one up. Even though it is part of a series, I don’t think a new reader would have any trouble getting involved in the book. 4 stars, Ms. Hiestand, and good job.


  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

    • Jo Hiestand says:

      Hi, Mai. Well, I did think of that at one time, when I was starting, mainly because I thought my surname would be misspelled or pronounced incorrectly (it hasn’t been misspelled, but it is pronounced incorrectly many times — it is HE-stand…). But I’ve got seven McLaren novels out, so I don’t really see the need for now. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Lisa Brown says:

    Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  4. Jo Hiestand says:

    Good morning Long and Short…and everyone else! Sorry I’m late logging in. Thanks for the review, too — I’m honored that you think so well of the book!

  5. Audrey Stewart says:

    I look so forward to reading this. I want to see where McLaren’s journey takes him.

    • Jo Hiestand says:

      Audrey, thank you so much! I hope you like the book. I really felt for McLaren in this book. I’ve never lost a fiance, so I tried to imagine what he would feel and how he’d react. He continues his healing in the next book, ARRESTED FLIGHT, which comes out early November. There’s hope for him! 😉

  6. Rita Wray says:

    Sounds like a great read.

  7. I appreciate the review!

    • Jo Hiestand says:

      Trix, I’m so glad you appreciate it — so do I, ha ha! 😉 Glad you “stopped by” and commented!

  8. Kathy Allen says:

    You know I’m in love with McLaren, the special character of this series. I enjoyed Unwilling Suspect just as much as I have all of the other McLaren books. Write more!!!

    • Jo Hiestand says:

      Hi, Kathy — you’re so kind to say that about the series and McLaren. Thank so much! Book 8, ARRESTED FLIGHT, comes out in November, so I hope you like that if you read it! Thanks!

  9. Gwendolyn Jordan says:

    Sounds great

  10. Victoria says:

    Great post – I enjoyed reading the excerpt!

  11. Jo Hiestand says:

    I’ll say good night now. Thank you all of you for coming onsite and commenting on the book and/or review. Good luck to everyone with the raffle drawing! And thank you to L&S reviews for hosting and for the kind book review.

  12. Bridgett Wilbur says:

    I would really love to read your book.

  13. This sounds like a great story!

  14. Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading it!

Speak Your Mind