Review River Bodies (Northampton County Book 1) by Karen Katchur

In this dark, gripping mystery, a brutal murder unearths old secrets that should have stayed buried.

A body just turned up in the small town of Portland, Pennsylvania. The crime is eerily similar to a twenty-year-old cold case: another victim, brutally murdered, found in the Delaware River. Lead detective Parker Reed is intent on connecting the two murders, but the locals are on lockdown, revealing nothing.

The past meets the present when Becca Kingsley, who returns to Portland to be with her estranged but dying father, runs into Parker, her childhood love. As the daughter of the former police chief, Becca’s quickly drawn into the case. Coming home has brought something ominous to the surface—memories long buried, secrets best kept hidden. Becca starts questioning all her past relationships, including one with a man who’s watched over her for years. For the first time, she wonders if he’s more predator than protector.

In a small town where darkness hides in plain sight, the truth could change Becca’s life—or end it.


“Katchur is an engaging writer who ably navigates the dynamics of small-town life and the darkness that lurks beneath…Suspense with a tense family drama at its core.” Kirkus Reviews

“Suspenseful…[The] gripping ending will leave readers eager for the sequel…” Publishers Weekly

“Karen Katchur’s River Bodies has it all: a horrific murder, mysteries resurrected from the past, a story line packed with tension, and vivid characters to bring it all to life. A riveting thriller that suspense readers will love.” —Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author

“With a striking sense of place and a foreboding feeling of unease throughout, I was glued to the story. With relationships so complicated and layered that they feel like your own and plot twists that will leave you gasping, River Bodies is an unforgettable read.” —Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author

“Karen Katchur is a master at writing into the dark spaces of our intimate family relationships, and River Bodies is her most stunning work to date.” —Mindy Mejia, author of Everything You Want Me to Be

River Bodies weaves an engrossing mystery with richly developed characters for an enjoyable, fast-paced read.” —Laura McHugh, award-winning author of The Weight of Blood

“Dark secrets of the past flow into the present in this emotionally resonant, deeply insightful tale of family bonds, betrayal, violence, and redemption. Part engrossing love story, part riveting murder mystery, River Bodies is a must read.” —A. J. Banner, USA Today bestselling author of The Twilight Wife

“Karen Katchur weaves together a twisting braid in River Bodies, a multigenerational tale that dares us to examine not only the secrets we hide but the reasons we hid them in the first place.” —Jenny Milchman, USA Today bestselling author

River Bodies is a dark, fast-paced, and gripping suspense with characters you won’t forget. It’s filled with old family secrets designed to protect but that instead pull everyone apart. A must read!” —Hannah Mary McKinnon, author of The Neighbors

About the Author

Karen Katchur is an award-winning suspense novelist with a bachelor of science in criminal justice and a master’s in education. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. You can learn more at

Customer reviews

I really enjoyed this Kindle First Read for October, it has a little bit of everything- a suspense mystery with a little romance. My main reason for enjoying books is liking the characters, especially Becca and Parker and to a lesser extent Matt, Jackie, Clint and even John. This was a very entertaining read.
I love to read but haven’t picked up a book for sometime. I had a hard time putting this book down. It was well written. I will read another one of Karen’s books.

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