What They Saw by M.M. Chouinard

Published: November 16, 2022


Pages: 358

Genre: Crime Thriller

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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

M.M. Chouinard is the author of the Detective Jo Fournier mystery thrillers and the standalone mystery thriller The Vacation. Her first fiction story was published in her local paper when she was eight, and she fell in love with Agatha Christie novels not long after. While pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology and helping to found the first U.S. research university of the new millenium, the stories kept rattling around inside her skull, demanding to come out. For sanity’s sake, she released them.

Next to the lake’s dappled water, a woman lies on her yoga mat, her limbs twisted as if she is trying to crawl away. Her mug of tea steams into the cool air and her lips, still warm, are parted mid-sentence. But she will never speak or see again…

When Sandra Ashville is found murdered in a sleepy town near Oakhurst, Detective Jo Fournier is first at the scene. Jo is shaken by the similarities between herself and the dead assistant District Attorney, a dedicated woman with a heart for justice. And as she examines Sandra’s body, Jo discovers something that chills her to the bone: the bullet hole is covered by an intact blindfold. Why was Sandra only blindfolded after her death?

The very next morning Jo receives a shocking call. A judge has been brutally killed, before she too was blindfolded. Soon it becomes clear that the twisted serial killer is working with a deadly countdown: every morning, another body will be found. Working around the clock, Jo makes an important break-through: all the victims are connected to the same murder trial. And Jo’s dear friend and partner Bob Arnett could be next…

With the next morning rapidly approaching, Jo and her team pull out all the stops to catch the killer. But when she uncovers a stain of corruption that includes Bob, Jo faces an impossible choice. Can she trust her partner, when the evidence suggests he turned a blind eye to a grave miscarriage of justice? And as the body count rises, can Jo catch the killer before it is too late for her oldest friend?

“But then, nobody ever really thought it would happen to them.”

Just when Jo thought things were settling down, she has a relationship status change and is still trying to support her sister after her husband’s affair, but when an ADA is murdered outside her home, Jo and her team are sent to investigate. The scene is unusual, and the evidence is odd. As the details get unraveled, Bob finds himself twisted in the crosshairs, and the race to find the murderer is on.

I finished this book and immediately wanted the next one. This was such an incredibly well-written story. Our favorite detectives are back with the best team to try and solve the case.

I love how much character development we get throughout this series. This is book six with these characters, and we are still seeing them grow. It’s amazing!

I loved the dynamics in this one and how strong the familial bond with the team is. When Bob becomes a potential target, it’s personal. And Jo is not about to stand by while her partner and best friend is hunted but an unknown perp.

This novel dealt with extremely sensitive topics, trigger warnings for SA, and I found the way Michelle presented both sides of this case respectful, sensitive, and empathetic.

I loved how the situations were handled. While the method of revenge was wrong, the reasoning was not. I did not know about the details discussed regarding the fact.

I respect Michelle so much for not staying silent on an issue that should be discussed. And I love that while presenting this issue to Jo, we see that care, compassion, and understanding of why are so important.

Something I love about Jo is her ability to find understanding with people. We saw it with Diana in the last book, and we see it again in this one. The respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness Jo shows are powerful.

This was incredibly fast-paced. The increased pacing was palpable, and you won’t be able to put the book down. This is an intricately presented game of cat and mouse. The hunted and the hunter. It’s about survival, on so many levels.

This was an emotional ride from start to finish. The weight of what was at stake was so clearly delivered, and Michelle is an absolute wordsmith when it comes to bringing scenes to life.

Just when you thought this series, these characters, and this author couldn’t possibly get any better, What They Saw is released. This is Michelle at her strongest, to date, anyway.

Buckle up and hold on because you’re about to take the most intricate and terrifying ride of your life.

A personal note from Katy:

I always read books from “cover to cover.” I read every dedication, every acknowledgment, all of it. This was no different. While reading Michelle’s thank you for this novel, I dropped my phone and burst into tears.

Because I was included among the amazingly talented people, Michelle was recognizing. I am so humbled, honored, and grateful to read and review for Michelle. I am so thankful to call her my friend. I love screaming about her books with her, I appreciate her humor, and I think she is the coolest human.

To have her give me space in her book is unreal. And I am so grateful. Thank you, Michelle, for forever connecting me to a world and characters I genuinely love.

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