Review: “Murder at Macbeth” by Samantha Goodwin

Every cast mate becomes a suspect, when the talented, lead actress in the production of Macbeth dies after she stabs herself live onstage. It is a job of detective Finley Robson and Nadia Zahra to find out who out of the seven people working at the theater production had the motive to tamper with the prop knife.

Murder at Macbeth is an intriguing and gripping novel set in London, filled with unpredictable plot twists.

There is a vast amount of characters in this book, on top of two detectives that are working on the case with one of their associates, there is seven castmates of the victim that are suspects. Additionally, there is a few of her family members popping in and out as well. Despite that, the author has done an amazing job introducing all of them, it didn’t feel rushed. There wasn’t too much information to the point where the reader would feel overwhelmed, but there was enough to make for a compelling story. All of the suspects were very detailed and it all felt coherent. Personally, I wish there was more background to the detectives themselves as well as their professional and private relations. Both seemed to be working well together and there were hints or mentions with regards to their friendship and their past, but it wasn’t developed to the same extent as the suspects, which I thought to be a little bit of a pity. However it is not that big of a deal – I do not know what the author is planning, whether this was a stand alone book or not, but if she ever plans to going back to the two detectives, I’d love to read their further stories.

The point of view of the narrative keeps changing and so the reader learns all about the victim from different perspective, which was fascinating. It felt realistic, people having their own feelings and opinions, lying about certain things that then they have to confront, when they are brought out to light.

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The plot itself was full of twists and turns. Till the very end, I wasn’t particularly confident about who the murderer is – I kept changing my mind every few chapters. I do have to say, it isn’t the most mind-blowing mystery, it isn’t the masterpiece of crime genre in terms of the complexity of the crime and the deduction needed, but it is a satisfying read. It is heavily based on victim statements – there is a lot of talking and a lot of storytelling, not much deduction to do for a reader per say. There are few pieces of evidence that come into play as the story progresses and Samantha did a very good job of using them to keep the reader in suspense. It would be mentioned that something was found, however what it was and who did it concern was kept hidden until that suspect learned themselves. It was actually quite nice, both the reader and the person concerned were at the same level of knowledge.

If you’re worrying that you need to know the actual play Macbeth in order to read this book, you don’t have to. It only serves for the world of the story if you will. I did like how the chapters not only had titles but had titles from the play, I miss that in books, a lot of authors don’t do that anymore.

The ending bothered me a small bit. Once we learn who the killer is, the chapters that follow feel very rushed, which is weird because the rest of the book had a really good pace. <spoiler> As well as that the mention about the mental health of the murderer was completely out of context, I’m not sure why it had to be mentioned at all. It felt politically correct, rather than a genuine part of the novel. </spoiler>

I really enjoyed this read, it was intriguing, made me want to keep on reading. It didn’t feel as long as it actually was and the variety of characters added to the interesting story line. I don’t know what the author is planning on doing next, but if she ever writes a sequel to the ‘adventures’ of the two detectives, I will be excited to read it.

Thank you to Samantha for sending me the copy of her book, it was a pleasure to read it. Murder at Macbeth is out this Friday, 17th of May, it is available at Amazon!

And thank you for reading this review, please let me know what you think down in the comment section.

Until next time, Dream On, Dreamers!

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