Northampton County #3
By: Karen Katchur
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 06/16/20
My Rating: 5 Stars + Top Books of 2020 She’s the only one who survived…and the only one who can help find the killer. Another spring, another dead girl pulled from a lake in the Appalachian foothills: the latest victim in a series of murders with few leads. But Detective Geena Brassard and her partner, Parker Reed, finally land a break when they receive a tip about a previously unknown survivor of the so-called Spring Strangler.
The survivor’s reluctant to help with the case for reasons that aren’t all clear. Even so, Geena uncovers a connective thread between the victims, and recently discovered DNA brings her closer to the killer’s identity. But Geena knows the survivor has the most to offer the investigation—if also the most to lose.
Geena is torn between securing the surviving victim’s help and protecting her from further danger. One thing is certain: Geena and Parker must find answers before the killer claims another life—or returns to finish off the one who got away.
“Katchur is at the TOP of her game! "
"Her Northampton County trilogy (3 of 3) is a dynamite must-read riveting crime series for thriller fans of Karin Slaughter and Lisa Gardner. Fiction doesn’t get any better than this. Do not miss the masterful grand finale, SPRING GIRLS.” — @JudithDCollins
Northampton County Series My Reviews
In Book #1, RIVER BODIES, we met Becca, a veterinarian and faithful German Shepherd, Romy. We also are introduced to Detective Parker Reed, a Pennsylvania homicide detective tackling a cold case.
In Book #2, COLD WOODS, Detective Reed returns on another cold case called The Slate Sisters and an intro of new partner Detective Genna Brassard.
In Book #3, SPRING GIRLS, Detective Genna Brassard of the Pennsylvania State Police takes the lead as the partner of Detective Parker Reed in another serial killer series. Each spring, girls are drowned and pulled from the lake in the Appalachian foothills.
Set in Bangor, Pennsylvania, as the book opens, there is a tragic drowning of another young woman and college student, Valerie Brown, the third victim. Albert, the retired detective, had suspected there was a fourth victim, the real first victim, who had survived.
Soon after that, there are more. The fifth strangling victim in seven years, with her hair neatly braided as if wearing a crown.
Why springtime, and why the hair braided? They were also all college students. What else connects them?
Detective Geena Brassard has been working on the case, now dubbed as the “Spring Strangler” for two years. The victims were called the Spring Girls. In her mind, serial killers weren’t human, and maybe that was what had broken her former partner.
She was working with Albert, her now retired partner. Presently, she has a new partner, Detective Parker Reed. The jury is still out is she can trust her new partner.
Things seem to be at a standstill on the case, until a clue comes to the surface. There was a survivor. Janet Montgomery. She was the first victim. The retired detective kept her name out of the press due to her privacy, among other reasons. (you will need to read the book to find out all the juicy details). 😎
Janey is an interesting character.
She works at a local craft store in town, as an assistant manager. The store is family-owned, operated, and closed on Sunday to honor God. She comes from a strict God-fearing family. She was a good girl. However, Janey didn’t know what that meant anymore.
Now she deals with her six-year-old son Christian who is quite the handful. He has behavior problems and causing problems at school and home. He is currently seeing a psychologist. She is concerned about him. She purchased a small house and desperately trying to find a safe place to raise her son as a single parent.
She could feel it deep inside her bones—the serenity of the lake, the rolling green mountains, the promise of another victim.
Detective Genna Brassard is determined to solve this case. Another girl’s body found in Minsi Lake. Another spring girl. Right on time. Who was the madman behind the crimes?
The word leaks out, and now Janey’s life is front and center. Is she the key to solving this case?
Janey wants to put the past behind her, and now, she has to try and recall it all again. She had been living with the ghosts every day, and now they were here circling her. She is not only worried about her safety but her son’s. She has to find a way to help other women. How does a church bulletin connect the girls?
Will Genna, Janet, and Parker be able to connect the victims? The wrong place at the wrong time, or something much more sinister at play? Will they be able to connect the dots before someone else is the next target?
Another edgy thriller series from one of my favorite authors!
The sinister factor starts early and builds quickly. What a fantastic book! The Northampton Series has been a favorite of mine since the first book, but I believe SPRING GIRLS is my favorite.
I enjoyed the way the author broke out the “Drowned” and the “Undrowned”, diving into the thoughts of the different victims. It was fun getting to know Genna on a more personal level and her complex relationship with Jonathan, as well as catching up with the relationship between Reed and Becca.
The two women (Genna and Janey) and Christian are well-developed character studies. The patient/psychologist (Janey/Helen) added intrigue and fear. As they investigate, the mysterious past points to the dangerous and chilling present-day crime. Learning the meaning behind the SPRING GIRLS was chilling and fascinating.
Unpredictable and full of surprises. You will be on the edge of your seat as the identity is revealed. The writing is superb and if you enjoy crime and psychological suspense thrillers, look no further. My fingers are crossed for a TV series 🎬 as this is prime for the small or big screen.
Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, fast-paced and gripping. Fans of kick-ass female investigators will be well satisfied.
Spring Girls can be read as a standalone; however, I highly recommend reading all the books in the series! Cannot wait to see what comes next from this extraordinary author!
A special thank you to Thomas and Mercer and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy!
“Distinctive characters enhance the fast-moving, twist-filled plot, and the killer’s identity comes as a nice surprise…Katchur is on a roll.”
“The dilemmas of two good women struggling in very different ways to do the right thing creates suffocating suspense.”
About the Author
Karen Katchur is an award-winning suspense novelist with a bachelor of science in criminal justice and a master’s in education.
She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. Read More