Blog Tours book reviews

Dead Woman Crossing (Detective Kimberley King Book 1) by J. R. Adler

Published: September 23rd, 2020
Publisher: Bookouture
Format: Kindle, Audio, Paperback
Genre: Crime Thriller, Crime, Series

Thank you to Bookouture for the invitation to take part in this blog tour and the eBook arc.


She threw open the door, running to the crib. When she looked inside, she gasped. The world around her went silent. Inside, there was nothing but a small stuffed elephant. Where was her baby?

When young, single mother Hannah is found murdered by the banks of a twisting Oklahoma creek, her one-year-old daughter sleeping in a stroller near her body, the small town of Dead Woman Crossing reels in horror.

Detective Kimberley King, recently relocated from New York to Oklahoma, with her young daughter Jessica, can’t ignore the similarity of Hannah’s death to the case of Katie James, the woman that the town of Dead Woman Crossing is named after. Katie was murdered in front of her small daughter in 1905, on the banks of the same creek, and it seems that someone is drawing inspiration from the crime. Could this killer be a copycat?

But as she interviews suspects, Kimberley is met with blank faces and closed lips. In a small town, people won’t talk and when she pursues a promising lead, her own family turn their back on her. Kimberley isn’t afraid to ask questions, but when she receives a threatening note, she realises that, as a single mother to a young daughter, she might be putting herself dangerously in the killer’s sights …

A gripping, atmospheric crime thriller inspired by true events, about a town on the edge of collapse and a murder that shakes the community. Dead Woman Crossing is perfect for fans of Rachel Caine, Lisa Regan and Jane Harper.


Dead Woman Crossing is the first in a new crime series featuring Detective Kimberley King. 

The story opens with Kimberley and her 16-month-old daughter Jessica moving from New York to small-town Oklahoma. Kimberley is making the move to be closer to her mother and so she can work regular hours and spend more time with her daughter. 

But, just days into her new position, the town of Dead Woman Crossing is rocked when a young woman is found murdered in the same spot as the victim in the infamous unsolved case from which the town got its name. Could they have a copycat on their hands? And was it a stranger passing through or someone they know that killed the young mother? 

This book was a slow burner and nothing much happened for the first third. It plods along steadily, introducing us to the characters and laying the groundwork for the series. But when the young mother’s body is found, the pace quickens and I found myself pulled into the story as I tried to figure out who could have committed such an evil crime. 

From the start the author perfectly captures the claustrophobic, small-town vibe of Dead Woman’s Crossing and I could feel Kimberley’s struggle to adapt to living in a place that’s the polar opposite of New York; where no one is anonymous and everyone knows your business. When she discovers that it aso seeps into her police work, she is left frustrated with small town politics and gossip. 

While she was relatable, I did find Kimberley hard to warm to and found her quite spiky. But as more of her past was revealed, I found I enjoyed her more as a protagonist. She had that classic mix of independence, strength and determination, and a backstory that slowly unveils. Although at first the flashbacks that told her backstory seemed a little choppy, after a while it became clear that she is trying to process some serious trauma. She spent her childhood trying to avoid the wrath of her alcoholic father and is still grappling with her mother’s passive role. In addition, she is plagued by her flashbacks and nightmares of her last case in New York when a brutal serial killer left her taunting messages and evaded capture. It’s this case that gives her an increased determination to catch the person responsible this time around. 

Tense, twisty and intriguing, this is a great start to a new series. I loved that the author kept me guessing about the identity of the killer right up until the end. If you like mysteries that are more steadily paced and character-focused, then this is the book for you. 

Rating: ✮✮✮.5


Originally from Wisconsin, J.R. Adler currently lives in Ithaca, New York with her husband, Drew, and her English Bulldog, Winston. When not writing, you can find her reading, playing board games, travelling, and binge watching The Office for the umpteenth time. 



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