Title: The Poet
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year: Entangled Publishing 3/9/21
Length: 368 Pages
“The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.” -Jean Cocteau
Some call him friend or boss.
Some call him husband or dad.
Some call him son, even a favorite son.
But the only title that matters to him is the one the media has given him: The Poet.
A name he earned from the written words he leaves behind after he kills that are as dark and mysterious as the reason he chooses his victims.
One word, two, three, a story in a poem, a secret that only Detective Samantha Jazz can solve. Because he’s writing this story for her.
She just doesn’t know it yet.
First off, I need to thank Netgalley for getting me a copy of this book soo soo early. I’m going to start off by saying that I had no idea that one of my favorite ‘Romance’ writers also wrote in other genres. Perhaps I should have dug into her more, but Lisa Renee Jones has managed to keep me so entertained over the years that I felt no need until I ran out of series to follow.
Anyhow, we have a thriller on our hands here, The Poet is a murder / serial killer mystery that takes so many different twists and turns. We start off years in the past at what likely is the beginning of it all, when we’re in a classroom watching a student struggle to read a poem, which them turns into a bullying situation after class and interestingly a dead body being found the next morning.
We fast forward into the future where our main character is a Detective who’s one of the best at solving murder cases. Detective Samantha Jazz is the daughter of the Police Captain who was just murdered 3 months prior, and the goddaughter of the Police Chief, so she’s connected but she’s gotten to where she is on her own merit. When she’s back from leave from her father’s death, she’s quickly back into things where she’s called to sub in on a case where the killer left a poem in the victim’s mouth, an no one knows what it means. Sam is a Poet Master of sorts, ran a poetry club in college etc, and now she’s putting all that good learning to use.
The journey in this book is a complex one. We see the road that Sam has to go down to heal from her father’s death, and on top of that, she learned that her father wasn’t the cleanest of cops so there’s the stigma that comes along with that. She’s also trying to find her footing when she’s not exactly sure where she fits in anymore. She’s recently in limbo in a relationship and she’s not sure who she can trust.
The research that our author clearly did to make this story come to life was intense. We watch the process of examining a case from all angles, from the cops to the ME to the DA etc. We also watch how they form their hypothesis of who’s the suspect and how to track them down. We’re drawn down path after path on certain characters, never quite knowing if they are the culprit or not. On top of this though, there’s the fact that the detective who was assigned to the case previously is now missing and no one knows where he’s gone and if he’s alive.
Characters that we want to believe on our side are set up to seem as though they could be dirty or suspect. There’s a detective named Jackson that Sam wants to bring into the team but she gets an off feeling and he’s always where he’s not supposed to be, and at the same place as the presumed suspect. making him suspect.
While they’re trying to solve this murder mystery, there’s also a bit of romance to keep things on the same tone as what we get from LRJ, although not nearly as ‘erotic’ for lack of a better word. Sam’s ‘ex’ of sorts, Wade, comes back to help both professionally and personally since he’s FBI. We see that relationship take on a new form and want to have hope for the future.
What I will say about this story is that the path to the killer uncovers quite a bit of interesting ‘stuff’. No one is innocent and yet there’s a surprise twist nonetheless. I think you guys should definitely try to find this book when it’s out in March because I could NOT put it down. Enjoy!