Book Review: The Special Dead by Lin Anderson


Title: The Special Dead

Author: Lin Anderson

Series: Rhona McLeod Mystery

Genre: Crime Thriller, Murder Mystery

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Review is also posted on: Goodreads


When Mark is invited back to Leila’s flat and ordered to strip, he expects the experience of his life. Waking later to find Leila gone, he opens the wrong door and finds he’s entered a nightmare; behind the swaying Barbie dolls that hang from the ceiling is the body of the girl he just had sex with. Rhona Macleod’s investigation reveals the red silk cord used to hang Leila to be a cingulum, a Wiccan artifact used in sex magick. Sketches of sexual partners hidden in the dolls provide a link to nine men, but who are they? As the investigation continues, it looks likely that other witches will be targeted too. Also investigating is newly demoted DS Michael McNab, eager to stay sober and redeem himself with Rhona, but the case threatens his resolve. Soon McNab realizes Freya may hold the key to identifying the men linked to the dolls, but the Nine will do anything to keep their identities a secret.

This book is about:

The gruesome murder of Leila Hardy. Who was found in her flat lifeless, but the peculiar thing about her death is that she was surrounded by dolls that were hanging from the ceiling… and she was hanged as well. Dr. McLeod is on the case along with McNab to find out who murdered Leila Hardy and what was the significance of the dolls on the crime scene? and after their investigation they found out that Leila had an unusual hobby… practicing witch craft with her friend Shannon. Obviously it wasn’t really the real thing much more like a thing they do and they believe in. while the case is still being solved, Shannon was dead in her flat as well but it can’t be ruled out as suicide since she was sitting on a stool and was obviously drowned to death… another weird way to kill someone (the making her sit on a stool part.) the thing that comes to mind to these investigators are, to kill a witch you need to Hang her, Drown her or Burn her. Two of those happened already and as they were slowly finding out who the murderer was another body was found but it wasn’t a person deemed to be a witch but was also hard to identify since his face was disfigured. And now they have to hustle to find out who the killer is before he or she finds another victim.

My Review:

Note: this book was sent to me as a review copy by the Author herself in exchange for an honest review.

I found out about The Special Dead via Twitter… that’s not a surprise haha. And since I love Murder Mysteries I was instantly intrigued when I read the synopsis of this book.

When I saw the book cover though I was really drawn to it and the physical copy looks super good the cover is super clear and so lovely to look at. And I can really say that this would be a book that would grab my attention if I see it in a bookstore.

The synopsis was quite straight forward it was clear and not vague at all. Since there are some books that give synopsis that you’ll get nothing out of it whatsoever and the synopsis on this book gives a good flow on what will go on the book and what you’ll look forward to.

The book was satisfying in a Moderate way, not that amazingly breathtaking and not that dull or boring. The story is still the same as any mainstream murder mystery. With finding the victim and trying to find the murderer up until the last chapter of the book. The beginning of the book was quite interesting for me since Leila (the victim) did some sort of weird ritual while having sex with a guy… which you’ll soon understand why she did that… she’s a witch. (not in a literal sense more like a hobby type of witch) but when I reached the middle part of the book I sorta lost my interest, not sure why though but it took me forever to get pass the middle chapters. The book though had some romantic aspects in it but it didn’t seem to work for the book’s plot and it didn’t work for me. The detective’s investigation on the case interests me but the reoccurring romantic or cheesy parts lost my interest. Which is weird cause I’m usually not picky on what happens on these types of books but for some reason it just didn’t feel right on this book. And I’m still quite confused though this is the first Rhona McLeod book that I’ve read but it seems like McNab was the main character and not McLeod. And book got me quite worked up actually. So I’m guessing that the characters in this book had a case on the last book (book before this one) and if you’re like me (reading this series for the first time) you won’t understand what was so serious about that case and why it keeps popping up in their conversations. It would’ve been much better if it was part of a series but you can still read it and feel like it was a standalone novel. Anyways I did enjoy the book besides the frustrating things that happened in the book it was still fun in a way and it was like watching Criminal Minds in book form.

✅Dialogues: The dialogues here were okay for me, but I’m not quite sure for readers who are starting to get into reading novels. Some words and terminologies on this book are quite deep and highfalutin. If you don’t have a dictionary you won’t get the conversation they’re having and this goes on until the end of the book. It would’ve gone smoothly if the author used much more reader friendly words.

✅Characters: I like McNab’s character. He drinks coffee… a lot. Much like me if I feel like in a caffeine mood. I like how persistent his character is in solving the case. And how charming he is at some point. But my issue with the characters is that McNab seems to overshadow McLeod’s character and that really annoys me characters specially the main ones should have a balance in those aspects. So maybe I would’ve like McLeod’s character if McNab didn’t like steal the spotlight in the Rhona McLeod novel.

✅Plot: the plot was great. A girl is found dead in her flat, detectives do their best to find the murderer, the body count of murdered people rises, and the killer may or may not have escaped the authorities *wink*

✅Flow of the story: Good. The transition from one character’s POV to another was smooth and besides the issue on romantic parts, everything was peachy.

✅Detailing: was exquisite, everything that was being spoke of like meals and such had specific descriptions so you can imagine it with ease.

The ending though was really… really… reeeeaaaallllyyy. Dissatisfying for me it was a cliffhanger and stuff. I just didn’t like it. But maybe you will. Remember we’re entitled to our own opinions and it really depends on the reader if you would like or not.

Quite good story. Something to pick up on a Murder Mystery reading mood.





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