Book Review: Dead of Summer by Sherry Knowlton

I enjoyed reading Knowlton’s first book, Dead of Autumn, and was excited to learn there is a sequel (and a third book coming soon). You can read my review of Dead of Autumn here. Now, for Dead of Summer:

Synopsis (from the publisher)

In a tale of suspense that travels from South-central Pennsylvania to Africa to the iconic Woodstock Festival of 1969, Dead of Summer embroils Alexa Williams in the dangerous world of sex trafficking.

With help from friends, family, and her yoga practice, Alexa Williams is finally starting to recover from last autumn’s trauma of finding a dead body and the violence that ensued. The young attorney can’t believe that her summer has begun with the discovery of another body. This time, the dead woman was famous for her worldwide campaign against sex trafficking. The murder hits close to home: the late activist was a friend and mentor to Alexa’s best friend, Melissa.

While the town mourns, Alexa stumbles into a burglary at Melissa’s home, barely escaping serious harm. A client asks for help in convincing the police that her foster child is not a runaway, and Alexa learns that other local girls have gone missing. Drawn into the fight to save lost and exploited children, Alexa discovers a community of child activists. A local philanthropist wants Alexa to join his foster care empire. A sexy social worker and a hip college professor want a more personal connection with Alexa, but she is also drawn to the police detective leading the murder investigation.

Searching for answers, Alexa becomes entangled in a web of deception and danger that puts both her heart and her life at risk. By the time she discovers that the key to the present lies in the halcyon days of peace and music, it may be too late.

My review:

Like the first book, I enjoyed Dead of Summer. The author’s selection of detail helped me imagine that I was there with the characters, and by the end Alexa once again felt more like a friend than a character. I knew about her coffee and yoga habits, her family dinner on Friday night… It helped that Alexa seems as tied to her giant and lovable dog as I am to my corgis.

With all Alexa has been through, she seems to become skeptical of almost everyone (especially guys), and since we see much of the story through her eyes, her skepticism helped keep me guessing. I especially enjoyed that the thrills kept coming, even after I reached what I thought was the denouement.

The Woodstock story was entertaining, and I kept waiting for the connection to modern day to be made–which it was, adding to the tension of Alexa’s situation. All in all, I enjoyed this thriller.


I received a review copy of this novel, but the opinion expressed is my own.

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