Review: Hear Her Scream by Dylan H. Jones


Print Length: 383 pages
Publisher: Joffe Books, Lume Books (February 22, 2024)

From He knows where you are.

He knows where you're going.

He's waiting for you.

Seven years ago. Valencia's best friend is brutally murdered and she's the one who finds the body. A man is convicted and is serving time. But there's still so much they don't know about the murder.

Valencia's never been convinced he's guilty and now she's ready to look for the truth. But what she discovers shocks her to her core.

A sick serial killer is sacrificing women.

The method of death chosen by the highest bidder.

Their murders livestreamed.

As Valencia's desire for the truth intensifies, the killer's need to kill is escalating.

He knows Valencia is looking for him . . . and he has her in his sights.


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

It's interesting, both Amazon and Goodreads have different blurbs about what this book is supposed to be about, and yet neither of them are completely true to what the book actually is.  Yes, Valencia's best friend was murdered. 

But when Valencia first goes to "investigate" she isn't convinced that he's innocent as the one blurb claims. In fact despite her claims that she doesn't feel strongly one way or the other, the reader gets the immediate feeling that she believes the accused man is exactly where he belongs. Until stories start not adding up. There is also the secondary plot that (thankfully) only touches on other women being murdered and those murders being livestreamed, but to be honest? That doesn't really fit with this narrative either other than to explain how the killer has the money that he does. I will say that despite what the blurb lead me to believe, this one was NOT as gory/explicit as I expected it to be. 

Looking at the other blurb, the women murdered weren't all "travel bloggers" nor did they share their travel plans on the internet. In fact one of them was a spur of the moment killing, and the "true crime podcast" wasn't Valencia's. She was supposed to be working as a researcher for a bigger company. However, due to the fact that the more people she spoke to, the more questions were raised, Valencia soon becomes something of an amateur detective simultaneously trying to  prove the innocence of one man while trying to bring a guilty man's crimes to light. 

Through twisting story-lines that intersect in ways I didn't see coming, Valencia finds herself in a life-or-death game of cat and mouse that were sometimes gripping and other times? Mildly annoying. Mainly because Valencia is a hard character to like.  She is relentless in her quest for answers, which might have been endearing if it wasn't for the reckless way she went barreling into situations. She also is a borderline (or maybe slightly over that line) alcoholic, always drinking some form of alcohol even as she swears she doesn't have a problem. At one point she was even idiotic enough to leave her drink unattended on the bar in a casino and then acts surprised when she is drugged.

Another issue I had with her if the fact that she also smokes marijuana a lot, which wouldn't be a problem except, when you're playing a game with such high stakes as life and death wouldn't you want to keep your wits about you? There are also times (mainly when Valencia doesn't get hear way or hears something she doesn't like) acts like a petulant child which was a major turn off for a main character who otherwise comes across as a strong woman. 

There were numerous missing words, and other grammatical errors in the copy that I read, but due to it being an advanced copy, I am hoping those things were fixed before the final release as otherwise this was an engaging story (even with some very unlikeable characters that I can't mention without giving away spoilers). I would read more from this author. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this that review are 100% my own.

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