Nine Lives (A Ray Logue Thriller) by Kevin McManus

On behalf of Zoe at and Kevin McManus, I am excited and honoured today to be reviewing Nine Lives. Thank you to Spellbound Books and Kevin McManus for a copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.


In Western Ireland in 1979, Hazel Devereaux, a student of Trinity College in Dublin, goes missing while working at a summer job. Six months later her body is discovered in a shallow grave. A line from a poem by Edgar Allan Poe entitled “A Paean” is discovered in an envelope at the house Hazel was renting.

Could this be a calling card of the murderer?

Thirty years later, Detective Ray Logue discovers that a series of murders in Boston appear to be connected to the killings in 1979. Each victim also received a line from the poem by Edgar Allan Poe delivered to their homes.

It becomes evident that a serial killer is at work and has claimed seven lives so far.

The murderer kills two victims every ten years, always on a year ending in nine and always on the same dates in June and December. If he follows the same pattern, he will kill again in less than a fortnight.

Ray Logue is dispatched to Boston to work alongside Detective Olivia Callaghan and Inspector Sam Harper to discover the identity of the murderer and to stop him before he strikes again. Logue’s ‘bull in a china shop’ policing method brings him into conflict with Sam Harper’s more calculated and measured approach.

As a result, trying to work together becomes almost as challenging as catching the serial killer.

But catch a killer they must.

My Thoughts

I’m over the moon to be back on a case with Ray Logue and this time travelling to the other side of the pond – Boston.   Don’t worry if you haven’t read the others in the series, it works perfectly as a stand-alone but I cannot recommend reading the whole series enough. 

This novel begins in 1979 with the disappearance of a young woman (Hazel) and a man who was taking her to the police station to report a murder.  It’s one of Jim Mulcahy’s, currently Port Ard’s superintendent) first cases as a younger officer and it as never solved despite the discovery of Hazel’s body.  When the body of her lift is found 30 years later and a series of seemingly related murders turn up in Boston, USA, Logue joins forces with Callaghan and Harper   Despite their methods being very different, it’s going to take all their skills and team work to find the killer before he kills again. 

This fast-paced detective thriller was even more addictive than Death Rains Down for me.  I’m a huge fan of criminal psychology and love shows such as Criminal Minds etc. so this was right up my street.  McManus leads the reader through a journey of profiling and detective work to unravel the small details of the crime and work on catching the killer.  I couldn’t stop reading, waiting for the next development and trying to piece things together myself (which I did a terrible job of). 

Ray himself is still the same old grumpy, straight talking and brilliant detective but he has developed a lot since Death rains Down.  I think to understand more I need to read New Blood, book 2.  I still love him though and as much as I missed his banter and relationship with McGarry but I also enjoyed the new team of Callaghan and Harper and the struggles they faced bonding and working together.      

A fast paced and addictive instalment of the Ray Logue series and I highly recommend.

Author Bio – Kevin McManus

Kevin McManus is an Irish author. He primarily writes Crime Fiction novels but also delves into writing poetry and short stories. He lives in County Leitrim in Western Ireland with his wife Mary and their dog Jack. He works by day as a secondary school teacher. Kevin has produced a series of novels featuring an Irish Detective called Ray Logue and a series based around a New York Detective called John Morrigan. His debut novel published in 2016 was “The Whole of the Moon”. In a previous incarnation, Kevin was a bass guitarist in several rock bands for over twenty year. Kevin is a supporter of Aston Villa FC which has caused him to age prematurely.

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