I have reviewed The #Vanlife Murders by Taylor Cluster for Reedsy Discovery.
The #Vanlife Murders by Taylor Cluster is a cozy mystery that follows Hailey as she tries to reinvent herself after losing her job and a breakup. When her life stopped making sense, and she feared sinking into nothingness, she decided to sell everything and live out her days in a van traveling up the west coast. Soon, she realized that there was a large community of influencers who were living a similar lifestyle. This community was known as #vanlifers and the lifestyle as #vanlife. Before she even had the time to enjoy her newfound lifestyle and realize its cons, she came through the story of a missing #vanlifer, Hannah. The missing-report of this young woman triggered Hailey’s childhood dream of becoming an investigative reporter. In the hopes of finding a clue, she started following Hannah’s story and going through her Instagram account. The missing investigation converted into a murder investigation as the cops found Hannah’s dead body. Before Hailey could even digest the shock of her murder, more news of #vanlifers being found dead started coming out. With each new murder story, Hailey sped up her investigation to find the clues or, better yet, hunt the serial killer.
All of a sudden, cold hands wrapped around her neck. One final, desperate, terrified scream escaped her lungs, piercing the silence of the night, before a strong grasp crushed down on her windpipe. Hannah struggled beneath the clutch until the moonlit sky faded to black.– The #Vanlife Murders by Taylor Cluster
In this time and age, The #Vanlife Murders is one of the most relevant books. Many times, social media influencers throw caution to the wind and post their personal details on their feed. This practice makes them an easy target for any predator on the prowl. Through this cautionary tale, Taylor Cluster has done her bit to advise the community of influencers to be extra careful. The author is also a skilled storyteller who knows exactly how to keep the readers glued to the pages. Although a couple of twists are predictable, the thrill of solving the murder mystery is the perfect catalyst for the audience to keep going.
She pondered the rude comment for a moment. Could Hailey handle internet trolls? She had completely forgotten about all the cruel people in the world who used the internet as their unfiltered voice; people who felt bulletproof while sitting on the other side of an anonymous computer screen and had no problems learning others down, likely out of nothing more than sub-conscience jealousy.– The #Vanlife Murders by Taylor Cluster
Whether it was Hailey’s parents or her friend, each character and their emotions are quite relatable. Their concern for her safety ultimately developed an empathy for the protagonist in the readers’ hearts. It was a clever trick, indeed! With just the right amount of cliffhangers, a sprinkle of romance, and a storyline contemporaneous to modern times, The #Vanlife Murders by Taylor Cluster is a treat for cozy mystery lovers.
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