The Blue Journal | L.T. Graham (Seventh Street Books)

blue-journalOne chapter you’ll swear the murderer has to be this person and next chapter you’ll start to suspect someone else.

 

 

 

If you’re a fan of mystery and suspense novels you’ll want to check out L.T. Graham’s The Blue Journal. The Blue Journal is part of the Detective Anthony Walker series that leads the reader through the story via the point of view of the detective himself. Walker is a native New Yorker who leaves his job with the NYPD to relocate his family to the safer, more affluent town of Darien, Connecticut. Soon after relocating, his marriage goes south and the detective finds himself alone and rebuilding his life from the ground up. It doesn’t take long before the skeletons of this little town rear their ugly heads and Walker begins to learn more than he ever wanted to know about the town’s inhabitants.

The story centers around two marriage counseling groups, both guided by psychologist Randi Conway. The first group consists of five affluent and headstrong wives and the other consists of their equally audacious husbands. When one of the more ruthless and cutthroat wives of the group, Elizabeth Knoebel, comes up dead under mysterious circumstances, it’s up to Walker to work his way through the cast of characters to figure out who did it. When her private journal entitled Sexual Rites is discovered on her personal laptop, it uncovers all the secret ties between the couples and gives Walker a glimpse into possible motives for her death. With pretty much everybody having a motive for wanting the victim dead, the detective has to pick through their lives with a fine tooth comb and unearth some of their families’ dirtiest laundry as well as expose their seemingly perfect lives for what they really are.

The novel’s mystery comes from its ability to throw up a haze of confusion and chaos through a band of unruly and bold characters who are all equivalently unpredictable. Toss in a large helping of promiscuity, money, egotism, and politics, and you’ve got The Blue Journal. At times the book reminded me of the 80s movie Clue, based on the popular Hasbro board game. Switch out a dinner party for therapy sessions and you’ve got this novel. Throughout the book, you will flip flop from one suspect to another. One chapter you’ll swear the murderer has to be this person and next chapter you’ll start to suspect someone else. That’s the true sign of a great read—mystery or otherwise.

As expected, the story includes a ‘will they, won’t they’ aspect to it between the detective and the psychologist, but the cat and mouse game they play is reasonably entertaining and doesn’t become stale or played out like often does in some novels. There are also random samples of Knoebel’s journal peppered throughout the novel that give the book a more erotic feel now and then with explicit depictions of her escapades.

The Blue Journal is the first book in the detective series written by a New England author under the pen name of L.T. Graham. Graham is currently working on the next installment in the series with no official release date yet. If you’re looking for your next good read, make sure to get your hands on this one. | Jennifer Manjarez

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