Death By Association by Madona skaff-Koren – a Book Review

Naya is trying to find her way.

When the Multiple Sclerosis struck, Naya almost lost herself. Thankfully, she has gotten some of her old drive back. She finds solace working out in the gym, trying to keep her mind and her body focused on something else other than her disease. She knows that with each lift of the weights, she is fighting against her own body and it is a fight that she will win.

While at the gym, she spots a new gym attendee Larson Rask. He is wheelchair bound and pesters her with a lot of questions while she’s trying to get a set in. He annoys her and she does her best to ignore him. That all changes when cops come into the gym and arrest him on three counts of murder.

Rask reaches out to her for help. He thinks that someone at his company, Rask Architecture, has framed him for the three murders. Rask wants Naya’s help. She almost refuses, except she can’t believe that a guilty man would ask for her help. Despite her better judgement, she goes.

What she finds there could be her undoing.

This such an amazing book! I loved every thrilling moment. This is the second book in the series but you don’t need to have read Journey of a Thousand Steps to enjoy Death by Association.

This book is a thrilling whodunnit of the highest order. The pages flipped by quickly for me and I was desperate to figure out the mystery. Thankfully Skaff-Koren’s writing is so good that every guess I had about the who did what and why was wrong. I love when that happens! I love the minutiae that Skaff-Koren works into the novel. Every small detail is full of red herrings and the plot is full of twists and turns .

Madona’s power is in her characters and the strength of her storytelling. Naya is a diverse and amazing character and she propels the story along as you are drawn along with her to discover everything right alongside her.

The fact that she lives with multiple sclerosis is only a piece of who she is. Thankfully, it’s not all of who she is as a person. I loved reading about her life with MS and how she chose to live beyond it.

Ultimately, this is a novel with tons of heart. I loved Naya’s family, her friends Travis, Mackay and Keghan. I loved the report that all of them have, the friendship that seems to go beyond the page, the emotions feel so real. I also loved Naya’s dog Minaki whose actions made me snort out loud several times throughout the novel.

Skaff-Koren’s power is in the small details that she uses to flesh out each of her characters. Yes, this is a mystery, but there are no cardboard characters here. Instead, you get a novel filled with real people all of them working together, fighting for what is right.

Not only has Skaff-Koren written a kickass mystery novel on par with Minette Walters, she has written a novel with characters I end up feeling like I know. Should I see them on the streets, I would greet them as friend…and then ask them if they need any help with their sleuthing. What an incredible book

Even though I know the ending, I want to go back and read it all over again.

One Comment on “Death By Association by Madona skaff-Koren – a Book Review

  1. Thank you so much, Jamieson. It’s a wonderful feeling when someone appreciates the effort, as well as the occasional pain and suffering, that goes into creating a story. I’ve always enjoyed reading your books and the way your characters come to life, practically jumping off the page. They’ve made me laugh and cry, and occasionally at the same time.

    And to be compared to such a well known mystery author like Minette Walters by an established writer such as you is truly humbling.

    By the way, I’m thrilled to hear that you didn’t guess the ending ahead of time.

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