A PSYCHO WHODUNIT WITH TWISTS: Richard Rees’s “Somebody Wants To Kill Me” tells of an attempt to kill a rich young heiress a day after returning from honeymoon with her new husband to her isolated home in Wisconsin. Then the phone calls start, threatening to still kill her. She wants to flee. He wants to lure him out into the open. She reluctantly agrees, but then realizes he and all five people protecting her have reasons for wanting her dead.
After her domineering father dies, leaving her a fortune, Karen Ryan decides to change her life. Having lived all her life in his shadow in a huge, isolated house in northern Wisconsin, she plans a long Italian vacation. But before flying out of Chicago, she meets handsome Paul Archer, marries him and her vacation becomes an unexpected honeymoon. Shortly after they return to Karen’s home, someone tries to kill her twice – unsuccessfully – and it appears the killer is dead. Then he starts phoning, telling her he is still going to kill her. But why? And who is he? Returning to Italy seems the best plan, but Paul and his friend Morgan persuade Karen the only way to stop him is to lure him into the open – by using her as bait. Enlisting the help of her cousin Susan, her ex-lover Michael Rossi, an ex-marine, and Sam King, a Chicago cop on vacation in the area, Karen and Paul get ready for a siege. Tensions rise and Karen’s paranoia increases as she realizes each of her protectors may have a reason for wanting her dead – and whichever path she chooses could be deadly.
Review from The Book Commentary, USA
An intriguing, spellbinding psychological thriller, Somebody Wants to Kill Me by Richard Rees follows Karen Ryan, who suddenly becomes the heiress of an opulent home in Wisconsin just to find herself embroiled in a cat-and-mouse game with a killer. When Karen inherits the isolated home, she decides to go on a vacation. She marries Paul Archer, a very handsome man, and the two go on their honeymoon to Italy. On their return home, someone tries to kill Karen twice. The murder attempts are botched, but then Karen starts receiving anonymous, unnerving phone calls from someone who says they will kill her. Karen thinks about leaving for Italy to avoid getting killed, but her husband and friends who stand by her convince her that it is best to draw the caller into the open. But what if the person stalking her is one of the closest people to her —and each of them has the motive to kill her?
Somebody Wants to Kill Me is cleverly plotted, a tale with characters that are fully drawn and unforgettable. The supporting cast is intelligently built to keep readers guessing who the killer might be. Karen is a lovable character, a young woman who has lived under the shadow of a domineering father. When her time comes to live her life the way she wants, she experiences the biggest threat of her life. Now she is paranoid as the tension mounts. The people who are there to offer her protection include her husband, an ex-marine, her ex-lover, and a cop. Richard Rees writes in beguiling prose and creates scenes that are not only focused but brimming with drama. The author has the extraordinary ability to write life into the characters, exploring their faintest emotions, and putting them into situations that are both trying and filled with realism. This novel packs a punch with terrific writing, suspenseful narrative, and emotional intensity. It is deft, balanced, and exhilarating.
Review from OnlineBookClub, USA
Northern Wisconsin. After recently married Karen Archer exits a cemetery after visiting her parents’ grave, her car is pursued by someone in a black jeep who tries to force her over a cliff. Instead, her car and the jeep both end up sinking below a deep pool, reputed locally to be bottomless. In a dramatic series of events, her husband, Paul; his friend, Morgan Hale; and ex-marine, Michael Rossi, come to her aid just before she drowns. But Karen finds she is far from safe as the presumed dead chaser starts sending her phone messages saying he is still alive and intends to make her suffer, then die for past sins. The question is: Whose past sins? Is it her abusive late father’s sins? Paul’s sins? Or her own sins? Paul considers that her best option, to which she reluctantly agrees, is for her to remain at home rather than flee somewhere secret to safety, as a bait to draw-out the killer and catch him by enlisting the extra protection of Morgan; Sam King, a Chicago cop, who’s on vacation in a nearby lodge; Susan Ryan, Karen’s first cousin; and Michael Rossi, who is also Karen’s ex-boyfriend. However, she soon realises that each of them, even Paul, has a reason to kill her and that she’s in a precarious situation.
Somebody Wants To Kill Me by Richard Rees is a tension-filled mystery novel that I could not get enough of. The author plays to his strengths in piecing this intriguing novel together, and one evident strength from the first page of the book is his ability to thrust readers into scenes through detailed description. I could feel everything the characters experienced in the story, from the cold winds of northern Wisconsin, to the emotions that drive the characters to act in the way they do.
The author has assembled an intriguing set of unique characters that make the story very memorable. In this mystery novel, it is interesting to see that everybody is a suspect. Karen has reason to believe that Paul may want her dead for her money. Michael still harbours ill feelings for losing Karen. Sam, Susan and Morgan also have their own motives. And further secrets are revealed as the story progresses. It’s even wondered whether Karen herself is a suspect, staging a dangerous situation for some unknown reason. Whatever, it’s certain that readers won’t figure out the ending until it is finally revealed. But various theories will surely occur in playing detective with the information until the final conclusion.
Somebody Wants To Kill Me is a professionally edited book and expertly channels all the elements that make for a quality mystery novel. Richard Rees clearly took a lot of time to add depth to the characters, who feel like real people, especially Karen, whom I could relate with on so many levels, considering her struggles to break out of her evil father’s shadow. Note: The book contains profanity and sexual content. Mature readers who enjoy suspenseful mystery novels will thoroughly enjoy reading it.