Back to the Garden

By: Laurie R. King

Thank you NetGalley and Random House Publishing – Ballantine for the ARC of this book!

A cold case in California brings Inspector Raquel Laing of the SFPD to the Gardener Estate after bones were found while conducting construction work.  In the 1970s, the estate was a commune – everything was about peace, love, hard work, and equality.  But this was also the time when serial killers were prevalent, especially The Highwayman – who is now near death.  Are those bones from one of his victims?  In order to figure that out, Liang dives into the history of the Estate, and how after one event, a few members of the combine left, disappeared.  Now, Liang needs to solve this case – but can she do it in time?

The premise of the book sounded great – that is why I wanted to read it.  However, the execution of the book was less than great.  I wanted to read more about the mystery itself, than about the Estate.  The book mainly focused on the Estate’s history with maybe 10% of discussing the bones.  It was a let down for a thriller/crime thriller fan.  This was the first book for me by this author, so I don’t have anything to compare it to.  But for me, the characters were very one dimensional, lacking any sort of depth.  I was honestly a little bored reading this book.

I am able to give the book 3 stars because of the small twist, that if you know how to read author’s tells, you could figure it out, but for someone that isn’t paying close attention, they won’t figure it out.

This book is now available. You can get your copy here.


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