Review of A Penny for the Hangman

Posted November 8, 2014 by Stormi in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Review of A Penny for the Hangman

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Penny for the Hangman by Tom Savage
Genres: Mystery
Published by Alibi, Random House on October 7th
Pages: 290
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

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In Tom Savage’s chilling novel of suspense, an ambitious reporter is beckoned to an island paradise for the story of a lifetime. But this scoop might just be the death of her.

Fifty years ago, on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas, two teenagers born to privilege were convicted of slaughtering their parents in cold blood. Today the men are free and a Hollywood movie has been made about the murders. For Karen Tyler, an eager New York journalist, the case is irresistible. She has been invited to the Virgin Islands for an interview that’s too good to pass up . . . and sounds too good to be true.

Karen packs her bikini and her digital recorder and follows an ingeniously designed trail that leads her to a wealthy, mysterious figure. The man claims to be one of the notorious boys, but Karen soon learns that all is not as it seems. On this isolated utopia of sun and surf, a young reporter far from home fights for the truth—and for her life. Because the shocking secret behind the infamous atrocities has remained hidden all these years. And the killing isn’t over yet.

A Penny for the Hangman was a bit confusing to me even though it was an interesting murder mystery. It was told through to many different avenues for me to really enjoy it as much as I would have liked.

What I thought about this book

Karen Price is an investigative reporter and she has been getting calls about a tragic murder that had happened 50 years ago. He wants to meet with her on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. St. Thomas is where everything had happened and he had new incite into what happened on that night 50 years ago. She is pretty sure that the person calling is one of the boys who committed the crime. (So you go running off on your own to an island to meet someone you think might be a crazed killer, that is real smart.)

When the novel starts we get Jim’s POV and he is Karen’s boyfriend and he is telling about how Karen gets these calls and about her rushing of to the Islands. How he is going to tell Karen’s story about what happened on the Island.  Then through a series of diary entries, court transcripts, Karen’s thoughts on things through a part of the books she had already started, letters from those involved, etc we find out what happened back in 1959 when the most horrible murder happened on St. Thomas. Two teenage boys killed their parents and house keeper in a horrible brutal way.

Then we get Karen’s POV some times when she is on the Island and her meeting the man who had called himself Mr. Huxley, we soon find out he is Wulf Anderman one of the boys from the murder. (Or is he.) Even after she finds out who he is she doesn’t seem to be all that scared of her surroundings. (They take her off the Island to a place called Hangman’s Cay and she is not worried! This lady is crazy herself.)

So I won’t say any more than that because I don’t want to spoil things but I think you can sort of get how it could be a bit confusing at time while reading this novel. Not only did we get Jim and Karen’s POV at times we also got some of the other characters so sometimes I wasn’t sure who I was reading about until I got through few paragraphs and I hate that.

That being said it really was an interesting mystery about what happened that night 50 years ago, how incredible sick one of the boys was and how it all ties into why she was brought to the Island on the anniversary of the killings. I just wish it wasn’t so scattered.

Overall, it was interesting but because of the confusion I felt while reading it and the fact that I thought Karen was an idiot for going off on a island by herself, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked.  If you into murder mystery novels you might want to give it a try as I have seen a lot of really good reviews about this one.





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