Book Review: Stay of Execution By Kellie Larsen Murphy

***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

Little Springs was just a small college town, the kind of town where everyone knew everyone and violent crime was nonexistent–until a series of rapes and murders at the college. After an outbreak of fear and hysteria, only the arrest and conviction of Leo Spradlin, the “Co-Ed Killer,” could end the terror.

Years later, Spradlin is suddenly cleared based on unshakable DNA evidence, and no one is more surprised than Detective Mike Cancini. As new questions surround the identity of the true “Co-Ed Killer,” Cancini struggles to accept his role in the conviction of an innocent man. Suspicions mount when Spradlin’s release coincides with a fresh waves of rapes and murders at the college, eerily reminiscent of the original crimes. Cancini is drawn back to Little Springs, caught in a race against time to uncover the identity of the latest “Co-Ed Killer” before the next girl dies…

A tension-filled psychological mystery, STAY OF EXECUTION is also a novel about loyalty, deceit, and the darker side of truth.

I loved this mystery novel. It was placed in Washington D.C. and Virginia. I love reading books that are near my area, especially if I can recognize the scenery and public places with the author’s description. 

Detective Cancini was one of the main characters. As a reader, I respected his problem-solving skills, stubborn yet efficient. He reminded me of Gibbs. Leo Spradlin, the townies, and the Mayor were other main characters.

Spradlin was an innocent man on death row. He had been convicted of raping and murdering female students of Blue Hill College. But was he the true “Co-Ed Killer”? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

There were some repetition areas in interior monologue, especially when Cancini found out Spradlin was released from prison. But, I guess it fit because Cancini was obsessed with finding out the truth, never once believing Spradlin was innocent.

Julia, an ambitious reporter determined to get out of the shadows of her husband’s career, was another character I enjoyed. My favorite scenes were of her investigating in the small town and any scene with her and Spradlin.

My favorite lines: 1) He understood his role. 2) “Mike, the evidence says Spradlin’s innocent. Let it go.” 3) Was it really that something didn’t feel right? Was it really about truth and closure, or was it his own bruised ego?

When Julia started reading Spradlin’s morher’s diary entries, I figured out the mystery. It was fun watching the story unfold to see if I was right. The ending was definitely keeping me on the edge of my seat.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Stay of Execution By Kellie Larsen Murphy

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