Kevin McManus:. Nine Lives

Today I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Nine Lives. My review is written with thanks to Zoe O’Farrell and the team at Spellbound Books for inviting me on the tour and for my copy of the book.


In Western Ireland in 1979, Hazel Devereaux, a student of Trinity College in Dublin, goes missing while working at a summer job. Six months later her body is discovered in a shallow grave. A line from a poem by Edgar Allan Poe entitled “A Paean” is discovered in an envelope at the house Hazel was renting. 

Could this be a calling card of the murderer?

Thirty years later, Detective Ray Logue discovers that a series of murders in Boston appear to be connected to the killings in 1979. Each victim also received a line from the poem by Edgar Allan Poe delivered to their homes. 

It becomes evident that a serial killer is at work and has claimed seven lives so far. 

The murderer kills two victims every ten years, always on a year ending in nine and always on the same dates in June and December. If he follows the same pattern, he will kill again in less than a fortnight. 

Ray Logue is dispatched to Boston to work alongside Detective Olivia Callaghan and Inspector Sam Harper to discover the identity of the murderer and to stop him before he strikes again. Logue’s ‘bull in a china shop’ policing method brings him into conflict with Sam Harper’s more calculated and measured approach. 

As a result, trying to work together becomes almost as challenging as catching the serial killer. 

But catch a killer they must.


Once again, Kevin McManus has written a gripping, fast paced police procedural that kept me intrigued throughout the whole novel. It begins in 1979 with Detective Jim Mulcahy, who will eventually become Logue’s boss. This was an inventive approach as it allowed us to see more into Mulcahy’s character and perhaps why he works in the way he does, which is especially interesting in respect of his sometimes fractious relationship with Logue.

Logue himself is sent to investigate part of the case in Boston. He’s clearly been taken out of his comfort zone here and it was interesting to see how he would work with a new team. The banter he shares with Olivia is obviously different to his banter with McGarry but it was still enjoyable. 

The investigation is an interesting one and I found the references to poetry and the psychological significance of numbers fascinating. As the novel is short, there is little time for twists and red herrings but overall I still enjoyed this novel. 

Nine Lives is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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