Monday 16 May 2022



More than a literary thriller.

Powerful men can get away with murder...for only so long.

After a life of hardship, Mary Jane McCord's life in Rapid City, South Dakota, finally hits a sweet spot. She finds happiness and her singing career takes off. Everything is looking up until she uncovers the dark and secret obsessions of two high-profile men.

Twenty years pass but the people closest to Mary Jane have not forgotten.

Will they bring the truth out into the light?

'Beautifully written.'
Sarah Stewart Taylor (Maggie D'arcy mysteries)

'A compelling and brilliant read.'
Sharon Dempsey (Lainey and Stowe mysteries)

A tough, slightly complicated read with the author using multiple timelines and POVs, but one which was well worth persevering with.

The book spans a period of over twenty years and at it's centre is MJ McCord, a young woman with dreams of a career in music. Without spoiling things, things do not end well for MJ.

We explore...

ambitions - political, power, entitlement, sporting, musical; 
family - secrets, lies, neglect, loss, mistakes, resentments, jealousy, disagreements, a yearning for, marital discontent, long memories; 
sins - abuse, suspicion and worse;
small town life 
.... and eventually a reckoning and a kind of balancing of the scales.

The main characters in the book were well developed. Most of them, with possibly one exception - John - weren't especially likable. People were taken advantage of and suffered. 

I did find it a bit difficult to keep track of everyone in the book and where we were in the timeline, as to what had happened before. I think I got the gist of it all in the end. I would perhaps have preferred a more linear telling of the tale, but hats off to the author for taking a few risks with the book.

Overall I enjoyed it. The outcome was one I was hoping for after events of the past were clarified. 
I liked the setting as well. I don't think I have visited South Dakota in my reading before.

3 from 5

I've encountered Kelly Creighton's work before in the Alternative Ulster Noir anthology. 

Read - May, 2022
Published - 2022
Page count - 362
Source - review copy from author
Format - Kindle


  1. Multiple timelines and POVs can be confusing, can't they, Col? Still, as you say, you do have to give credit to the author for trying different things and for innovation. And the story does sound interesting. I have a soft spot for music as a theme in stories, and for stories where the past comes back to haunt, so to speak. Glad you found a lot to like about this one.

    1. Margot thanks. I don't think it flowed quite as well for me as I had hoped.