Jed Had to Die


Publisher’s Synopsis:
The happiest day of Payton Lambert’s life was the day she graduated high school and watched Bald Knob, Kentucky get smaller and smaller in her rearview mirror. She wanted more for her life than a tiny town where everyone knows your business and you can’t find a decent cup of coffee for at least forty miles. Twelve years later, an unexpected phone call in the middle of the night has her packing up her life in Chicago and racing back home to the one person she ever regretted leaving behind.

Upon her return, she sees that Leo Hudson, the scrawny boy who followed Payton around like a puppy and could recite cow insemination facts in his sleep, is long gone. Leo is still hot on her heels, but now he’s wearing a sheriff badge and dead set on solving a murder that may or may not involve Payton…along with half the town. In a place where the biggest crime happened the day someone kicked a few of his cows, people are pointing fingers, rumors are spreading like wildfire, and Payton swears she’s only making out with the sweet-talking, studly sheriff to distract him from the secrets she’s keeping.

When you’ve been tased, peed on by a yippy dog named Bo Jangles, and can’t stop picturing what Sheriff Hudson looks like naked, it will be a tough job making everyone agree that…Jed had to die.

Point of view:
1st person from Payton’s perspective. With every other chapter being a police interview transcript featuring various characters.

Rellim’s Thoughts:

DNF @ 40%

While I love Amy McFadden & she’s the whole reason I purchased this… Well, OK, it’s was 80% McFadden, 15% because I enjoy OTT funny, & 5% it was on sale on Kobo…

I guess I’m in the minority here, but this just isn’t working for me. This might be spoilery – I don’t think so, but stop here if you want to be absolutely certain not to encounter them. 🛑

I don’t enjoy future/past back & forth. Every other chapter is a time jump. Sometimes it works for me – but it just didn’t here. This is definitely a personal preference and not a knock to the author.

I have a hard time reconciling the serious subject of domestic violence with OTT humor. Especially when it’s witnessed by law enforcement and they do nothing about it … because reasons?

I get funny elements or convos in dark books – that’s not what this was though.

Payton was not a likeable character for me. At all. She’s rude, judgmental, self-centered, destructive, etc and it’s supposed to be funny because she hasn’t had enough coffee. Or because she was drunk when she did it. She basically vacillates between the two for the entire story up to the point I quit.

She’s 30 (best I can tell from the math of “she left right after graduation and she hasn’t been home in 12 years). Outside of owning a supposedly wildly popular because-it’s-not-a-chain coffee shop (that’s… becoming a chain?) in Chicago – she hasn’t matured since 18yo.

Her best friend was just beaten so bad she was hospitalized and all Payton can talk about is a “hot guy” she saw for like a minute. It’s joke after joke after joke about the “hot guy”.

RomCom? It’s more like a Murder mystery with one sided attraction to a person she barely used to know 12 years ago. Then remembering all the ways he was a “nerd”. I want to want the MCs to get together. I just didn’t.

(Psst: Leo. Run. Run now. The crush your 20yo self had was entirely misguided.)

I almost kept going because I was actually more interested in whether something would blossom between Deputy Lloyd & Emma Jo. But I was too annoyed by Payton.

McFadden’s narration was wonderful. It’s likely she’s why I managed to get as far as I did.

Published by rellimreads

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