Tonight You’re Dead by Viveca Sten

Tonight You’re Dead by Viveca Sten
Publisher: Amazon Crossing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

Soon to be divorced, attorney Nora Linde is finding her way as a single mother, and even falling in love again, when she’s asked by her childhood friend Detective Thomas Andreasson to help in a disturbing investigation. Marcus Nielsen, a university student, has apparently committed suicide, but it’s what he’s left behind that’s so suspicious and damning: his research into the Coastal Rangers, an elite military group where, in 1976, a young cadet died under questionable circumstances, a sadistic sergeant went free, and a case went cold.

When two of Nielsen’s contacts are also found dead—and diaries of their tortuous training turn up missing—Thomas and Nora are certain that whatever happened three decades ago is unforgivable. And for someone who wants to keep those secrets buried—unforgettable. Now they must fight against time to expose a cover-up that hasn’t yet claimed its last victim.

Detective Thomas Andreasson is still recovering physically and emotionally from injuries that nearly killed him in his previous case. As he eases himself back into his police work, he finds himself unusually drawn to what at first glance appears to be a clear case of suicide with a young university student. It’s only as Thomas traces the young man’s interviews for a school project that Thomas finds not only long-buried secrets, but also what appears to be a second murder. Thomas calls for some research assistance from his childhood friend, lawyer Nora and together they try to understand what’s happening before it’s too late.

I really enjoyed this full length novel. While the mystery is somewhat slower paced than many modern stories, I didn’t feel like this affected the pace too much as there was a lot happening in both Nora and Thomas’s private lives that helped keep this side to the story moving at a good rate. Readers who pick this book up expecting a fast or action-orientated mystery might find that aspect to the story lacking – especially in the first third or so. But since I’ve read the previous three books in this series I greatly enjoy both Thomas and Nora’s characters and was very happy to be updated on how Thomas is recovering from his injuries and reconnecting with his ex-wife. I also was very interested to see the fall-out to Nora and her separation from her almost ex-husband. In this sense I didn’t need a break-neck paced action mystery adventure story, I was quite happy to see more character and emotional growth with the two main characters. Other readers – especially if they pick this up as a standalone – might not find this as satisfying as I did.

That said, once the murder mystery really began to pick up speed this was an exceptional police procedural style of mystery novel. There had been snippets every few chapters showing scenes from the past which helped the reader understand some of the motivation behind the killings and helping to set the scene without being too spoilerish and giving the entirety of the plot (or the identity of the victim/murderer) away, so I really thought the author did an excellent job of balancing giving enough away without ruining the surprise.

Readers who enjoy previous books in this series should definitely give this one a try. I can also happily recommend this entire series so I can recommend readers going back to the start of this series. A good, solid book with lots of character growth and an interesting mystery plot.

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