If Looks Could Kill by Olivia Kiernan | @QuercusBooks | #20BooksofSummer

Author : Olivia Kiernan
Title : If Looks Could Kill
Series : DS Frankie Sheehan #3
Pages : 400
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : July 23, 2020


DCS Frankie Sheehan is experiencing a crisis of confidence – having become wary of the instincts that have led her face-to-face with a twisted killer and brought those she loves into direct jeopardy.

She is summoned to the rural Wicklow mountains, where local mother of two, Debbie Nugent, has been reported missing. A bloody crime scene is discovered at Debbie’s home, yet no body. Not only is foul play suspected, but Debbie’s daughter, Margot, has been living with the scene for three days.

Aware her team cannot convict Margot on appearances alone, Sheehan launches a full investigation into Debbie Nugent’s life. And, before long, the discrepancies within Debbie’s disappearance suggest that some families are built on dangerous deceptions, with ultimately murderous consequences.


I can’t believe this is already the third instalment in the Frankie Sheehan series! I think you could possibly just about get away with reading this as a stand-alone but I’m pretty sure there’s a rule against that. If there isn’t, there should be. Bear in mind that Frankie Sheehan is a complicated, complex and multi-layered character with an already interesting background story behind her and it’s obviously one you’d be missing out on if you haven’t read the previous two books in the series. Stating the obvious here.

If Looks Could Kill starts out with a bang in the first chapter but it’s also a scene we leave behind rather quickly in order to move on to the actual story. That story is set in the rural Wicklow mountains and the home of Debbie Nugent, where there is a bloody crime scene but no sign of a victim. Detectives quickly suspect foul play and zero in on Debbie’s youngest daughter, Margot, who has been living with this scene for three days like it’s the most normal thing in the world.

You’d think being in this small rural community, everybody would know everybody else’s business and gossip would be rife. But that isn’t the case here. Few people, if any, seem to have really known Debbie. She was a person of routine, very reclusive and private, seemingly without any close friends at all. So who would want to harm her? Could it really be Margot? To all intents and purposes, this looks remarkably like an open-and-shut case. I honestly had no idea what to think about any of it but I will say, that this incredibly cleverly plotted story went in an entirely different direction than I expected.

There’s a bit of a slow start and I may have had a tiny moment where I was wondering when something would actually happen (current mood : impatient) but the latter chapters of the book more than made up for that little blip. For the most part, If Looks Could Kill is gripping, hugely intriguing and quite unpredictable. Throughout the story, I was mindful of that opening chapter but I couldn’t at all see how it connected to everything else that was going on. Overall, this is a great addition to the series and although not my favourite, I do look forward to the next book.

With thanks to the publisher for the review copy!

If Looks Could Kill is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Hive UK | Kobo | Waterstones

20 Books of Summer : 8/20

  6 comments for “If Looks Could Kill by Olivia Kiernan | @QuercusBooks | #20BooksofSummer

  1. July 23, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Sounds like a gripping read 👌☺️ great review, I’ll definitely have to check these books out ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 23, 2020 at 10:51 am

      It’s a great crime series! If you do decide to check them out, I hope you enjoy them 😀


  2. July 23, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Ooh! You’ve reminded me to get to the second book in this series. I loved the first book and am excited that there’s a #3. It’s not yet scheduled for the US so I’ve got time. Excellent review, Eva💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. July 23, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    Fab review Eva! I visited the Wicklow Mountains as child back in the 70s and it was beautiful. Back then everyone did know everyone’s business! 😂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

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