Midnight Dunes (The Texas Murder Files #3) by Laura Griffin


“After a scandal derails her television reporting career, Macey Burns comes looking for a change of pace in Lost Beach, Texas. She’s ready to focus on her first passion – documentary filmmaking – and has a job working for the island’s tourism board, shooting footage of the idyllic beachside community. Her plans for a relaxing rebound are dashed when she realizes the cottage she’s renting belonged to the woman whose body was just found in the sand dunes.

Detective Owen Breda is under intense pressure to solve this murder. Violent crimes are rising in his small town, and he can’t stand to see anyone else get hurt…especially the beautiful documentarian who keeps showing up at the precinct. With the clock ticking, the cameras rolling, and the body count climbing, Macey and Owen must use all their resources to find the killer without getting caught in the crosshairs.”

-Synopsis from back cover


Cover image from StoryGraph

Midnight Dunes is a great installment in The Texas Murder Files series by Laura Griffin. This was a highly anticipated read for me this year, and it did not disappoint!

I love the location of this series. I have never visited the Texas coast, or even seen it as a setting in many books, yet I have been able to picture the town of Lost Beach perfectly since book one. The marshes, the houses on stilts, boardwalks, piers, ocean, and fog create a perfect setting for this story.

Owen is a familiar character as he appeared in the previous book which focused on his older brother, Detective Joel Breda. However, you do not have to have read the previous two books in order to appreciate this one. This is something I have always enjoyed about Laura Griffin’s books – every book in her series can be read as a standalone.

Knowing this story would be about Owen, I was curious to see who would be his counterpart. Macey has arrived at Lost Beach with a lot of baggage, both literal in the form of all of her camera and film equipment, and figurative in the form of the scandal she left behind in her previous career. She is hoping to get some R&R at Lost Beach while shooting commercials with her work partner, Josh. Instead, she gets pulled into Owen’s investigation into the murder of Julia Murphy, whose body is found in the dunes just north of the house Macey is renting.

The story was very suspenseful especially towards the end. Once the details of the crime come together, it becomes apparent that Owen and his team, and Macey, are racing against a clock to solve the murder before the killer act again. I was on the edge of my seat for the final few chapters and it led to a very exciting and satisfying ending.

If there is another book in this series, I hope it focuses on Nicole and Emmet, even though I thought Emmet was a little dismissive of Nicole more than once in this book. I would still like to see where their stories end up. I look forward to reading whatever Laura Griffin writes next.

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