Death in a Dark Alley by Bradley Pay

Published: August 28, 2022

Bradley Pay

Pages: 343

Genre: Thriller

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Bradley Pay is the pen name for Robin Bradley and Jody Leber-Pay. These close friends bond over their love of storytelling, spinning elaborate contemporary fiction novels that defy genre norms and keep readers on their toes. Robin’s love of writing stems from her family, who first inspired her to write poetry, and Jody’s passion for problem-solving and leaving her comfort zone inspires their continued collaborations. When Robin and Jody are not creating their sinister Spectrum Series, Robin loves to cook, and Jody spends her free time hiking and golfing.

Tracey Lauch may be a murderer, but he is still a man. Although his childhood abandonment trauma began decades ago, now his compulsion to strangle women who resemble his mother has begun to evolve. Outrunning his past, embracing love in the present, and creating a future free of investigation proves increasingly complicated.

Isabelle’s life in Brazil is burdened with mistakes and abandonment, too – but not in the same way. She falls in love with all the wrong men at all the wrong times, and her best friend Frank shows his true colors when, over and over again, he is not there for her when she needs him most. Aside from the stark difference that Isabelle is not a murderer, she and Tracey both desire love, a life partner, and the warmth of a family.

But what does Isabelle’s story have to do with Tracey? How can an innocent trip to Strasbourg, France, become a heart-stopping event that changes their lives forever?

“Am I still killing her? – over and over again?”

Lydia finally escapes her alcoholic father after her mother’s death and heads for Paris. She is determined to make her dreams come true, no matter what. Isabelle and Frank have been best friends for most of their lives, and that bond connects them through their young adulthood. When Isabelle falls in love and starts having babies, Frank lets his anger fuel him. Tracey continues enjoying his retirement, traveling, and finding ways to feed his deadly pleasures. What happens when the paths of the innocent cross with that of the guilty?

I enjoyed meeting the new characters in this book. But I also enjoyed getting deeper into the dark psyche of Tracey.

I enjoyed Isabelle and Victor and their journey. I love how unpredictable and genuine it was. I didn’t care for Frank, he was so selfish and self-absorbed, and he didn’t grow out of it. Lydia was charming but also very eager.

I liked how this book focused a lot more on the characters, their lives, and relationships and that the riverboat and travel were more of a side mention.

I still love how the authors describe architecture and scenery. It’s so vivid and detailed. You easily picture what is being described as though you were standing there.

I liked the buildup for this novel. It had a slower burn to it, with the first half being heavy on character development and the last half being action.

The ending, though. Holy buckets. I don’t think I’ve needed a third book to be released more! I am involved with this story, the characters, the locations, and the twists and turns. I am very excited to see what happens in the next book!

Thank you so much to Jody and Robin, aka Bradley Pay, for sending me a copy of this novel. I am honored to read and review for you, and I eagerly await the next installment in this series.

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