Book Review

A Deadly Act

A Deadly Act

  • Author: Jonathan Dunsky
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Publication Date: February 8, 2020
  • Publisher: Independently Published
  • Series: Adam Lapid Mysteries #5

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

CONTENT WARNING: murder, Holocaust imagery, blood, antisemitism, alcoholism, molestation, suicide, drug use, violence

Love made her lie.

But did hate make her tell the truth?

Israel, 1951: Private investigator Adam Lapid has never had a case like this.

Five years before, his client lied to the police, giving a false alibi to the man she loved. Now, she’s sure the man she lied for is a murderer, and she wants Adam to prove it.

But can Adam really trust her? Is she telling him the whole truth?

The case is a puzzle, the victim a mystery wrapped in a riddle. And the murder scene? That’s the most baffling thing of all.

Why did the killer choose that particular spot? Why take some of the victim’s possessions and leave others behind?

It’s a cold case that’s about to get hot. The more Adam unravels the mystery, the greater the danger. Is the killer plotting to kill again? Is Adam’s life in danger as he closes in on the murderer?

You will love A Deadly Act because it’s a thrilling historical mystery with an ending you won’t see coming.

Clearly I’m hooked on this series, and I couldn’t wait to read this after finishing the last book. It starts with one hell of an opening line, and when I read this, my jaw absolutely dropped:

“The old man howled as he carried his dead daughter in his arms.”

This book is a little slower to get moving than previous books, as Adam takes on a cold case from five years earlier, where a key suspect was given a false alibi by his wife, and she has just come clean to Adam. Now he’s tasked with figuring out if her husband is a murderer. While the wife is sure of it, he’s on the fence, but wants to solve the murder if he can. The only problem? Nothing is what it seems, and there doesn’t seem to be much to go on …

“‘It’s one of those frustrating cases where there was never the end of a thread on which to pull and unravel the whole business. No real leads, no main suspect. Just a heinous crime and one dead girl.’”

Naturally, there wouldn’t be much of a story if it was a cold case with absolutely no leads. And since we already know from the previous four books that Adam is tenacious, observant, and the kind of detective (excuse me, former detective/current private investigator) who notices things and connections that others might miss, if there’s someone that has any chance of solving this case, it’s most likely going to be him.

The story was admittedly slower-paced at first. It took a while for Adam to make connections, but he investigated every single lead and suspect thoroughly. I love his methodical process, and I’m kind of familiar with his process. He examines everything for himself, not taking anything at face value, and leaving no stone left unturned. It’s worked for him thus far, and I had no reason to believe it wouldn’t work in this case either.

It picks up the pace a bit as he starts to gather clues and formulate an idea of what was going on five years ago. However, as I mentioned earlier, nothing was what it seemed, and I was blindsided by plot twists so many times! It wound up being one of the more exciting reads in the series in the second half despite the slow start, and there’s some action. I was ultimately surprised by who the killer was, and how the crime unfolded (because of course he solves it in the end). This was ultimately an intriguing story, with some politics of early Israel thrown in. I am absolutely looking forward to reading the rest of the books, while simultaneously dreading coming to the end of the books and hoping that there are more in the works sooner rather than later!

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 8

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