The Killed Conscience by Jordan Antonacci

401953434 stars


Still at the beginning of her career, investigative journalist Emilee Weathers is desperate for the perfect story and doesn’t care how she has to get it. When she’s asked to assist in a convicted serial killer’s appeal, it almost seems the perfect story has come banging at her door.

But not long after arriving to the mountain town of Pigeon Forge, Emilee discovers the body of another, more recent victim. With the body showing signatures of the already-convicted murderer, Emilee sets out to discover if she’s happened upon the work of a copycat, or if the real killer was ever even caught. The more she looks though, the murkier everything becomes. Police begin withholding information and the killer seems capable of going any length to protect his identity. On top of it all, when her investigations uncover the buried secrets of those closest to her, Emilee questions who it is she can and can’t trust in those mountains, if anyone at all.

I love me a good cabin in the woods mystery!

Emilee, our main character, is a plucky young journalist who has been requested by police to go back to her hometown to help investigate an old murder case. In doing so, she finds herself stuck in a cabin with her two childhood best friends, their partners and her abusive boyfriend.


The whole book plays out very much like a film in your mind, which is something I quite enjoy. There’s a lot of bickering and high tensions between characters while they’re stuck up the mountain and they’re all suspicious until we finally reach the (not so) unexpected conclusion and find out whodunnit. The characters all bounce off each other and fit well as a dynamic.

The characters in this book don’t have as many dimensions as I might have liked, they fit too closely to generic molds but I was enjoying the story too much to really care too much about that.

One thing that did bother me, however, was the description of Emilee with her incredibly abusive boyfriend. It sounded more like his behaviour was an inconvenience rather than an atrocity, the author really needed to use his imagination about how it would feel to be trapped in a relationship with someone violent and manipulative, and then put it to the page so the reader can feel the same sense of fear.

The pacing of this story is brilliant and it’s filled with action rather than red herrings, leaving you desperate to figure out what’s going on. This is another debut author to keep an eye on for the future.

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