THE MURDER RULE by DERVLA McTIERNAN

First Rule: Make them like you.

Second Rule: Make them need you.

Third Rule: Make them pay.


They think I’m a young, idealistic law student, and that I’m passionate about reforming a corrupt and brutal system.

They think I’m working hard to impress them.

They think I’m here to save an innocent man on death row.

They’re wrong. I’m going to bury him. 

And with that, we know Hannah has an agenda. Right now she is a third-year law student in Maine. Living with her mother, Laura, who is a master manipulator and an alcoholic. Hannah understands her mother is damaged by things that happened to her in the past. Things Hannah has read in her mother’s diary that covers the summer things went horribly wrong.

First, Hannah needs to convince the head of Virginia’s law school that she is transferring there and wants to be a part of the Innocence Project. The group working to get Michael Dandridge out of prison. While the court has vacated his conviction, the local DA is refiling charges. The project is trying to get him out. Hannah is working to make sure he stays in.

Hannah had a plan and boy did she stick to it. She pretty much blackmailed the professor to let her in the project and then proceeds to sabotage the case. But the sheriff and the district attorney are in cahoots and are blackmailing pretty much everyone in the town and they don’t need her or the team snooping around and they aren’t above killing to ensure they stay don’t get caught.

The mother-daughter relationship was really well-done. We tend to want to make excuses for our mother’s behavior so we believe what they say. Until we don’t and then, it’s over. Hannah was a really good character. Smart in all the ways that count, but naive when it came to her mother. Secrets and lies, and a shocking ending! Well Done!

NetGalley/ May 10th,2022 by William Morrow & Company

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