Review: Killer Smile (Stella Knox #1) by Mary Stone


Print Length: 259 pages
Publisher:  Mary Stone (April 4, 2022)

From If looks can kill, a smile can be deadly.

Special Agent Stella Knox became an FBI agent to find the dirty cops responsible for her father’s murder and make them pay. But fresh out of Quantico, her first case has her seeking justice for a different victim—three of them, in fact.

The bodies of three teenage boys have turned up in a sleepy town outside of Nashville, TN. There’re no fingerprints, no DNA, and very little to connect the murders, except for a smiley face drawn in blood near two of the bodies. But why only two? The case makes zero sense, and the questions outnumber the answers.

Are the crimes related? Could it be the work of one calculating serial killer, or are they looking for three separate assailants?

One thing Stella knows for sure: someone is threatening the teenagers of small-town Cherry Farms, and they aren’t finished. As she and the team race against the clock to stop the nightmare that has descended upon this rural community, Stella has one more question...who will be next?

My Rating: 1 star out of 5

For a book that is purported to be a "suspenseful thriller", I found this novel to be anything but. In fact, through most of it, I was sadly, bored. 

To begin with there are too many characters (especially when it comes to the FBI agents), and there really isn't a single thing that makes them stand out from one another. Not in the way they talk, not in the way they think, not even in the actions they take. It got to the point where I started forgetting who was who and interchanging them in my mind. Sadly, even when the point-of-view suddenly switched to that of the killer, I still wasn't intrigued or engaged. 

In fact, I found myself skipping much of the second half of this novel just to see if I would be surprised by the ending. Spoiler alert - I was not. There was a lot that either didn't make sense to me, or was left unexplored. And while I understand that this was the first book in the series, nothing about it enticed me to continue on which is a shame. Stella might be the best FBI agent the (fictional) world has ever known, I just don't care enough to find out. 

                                              Killer Smile is available on
                                        (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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