The Heart to Kill by Dorothy M. Place


The author sent me an ARC of this book (pdf format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

(by Goodreads)

Savvy law student Sarah Wasser returns to her apartment to find two telephone messages:  She has not been chosen for a coveted summer internship, and her best friend from high school has just murdered her two children.  Unwilling to admit the internship failure to family and friends, the quick thinking Sarah secures a position on JoBeth’s defense team and returns to her sleepy hometown in South Carolina.

But Sarah is not well-prepared for working in a community rife with duplicity and betrayal, and her efforts are met with the benevolent amusement of the senior law partner, the resentment of the trial attorney, the rush to judgement by the folks of Eight Mile Junction, and discovery of her father’s role in the degradation of JoBeth.

Genre(s): Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Suspense
Books > Literature & Fiction
Series: n.a.
Length: 200 pages
Release date: 2016-11-30



“I was hired as a legal assistant by JoBeth’s defense team.” She made up the title, hoping it impressed her father.

“Williams hired you? He must be really desperate.”

Ellen’s breath caught, but she said nothing. A thread of rebellion stitched itself to the edge of Sarah’s tongue, but she was unable to gather it into a flip response. A fever rose to her cheeks and a faint ache pulsed behind her eyes.

My Opinion

This book introduces you to law student Sarah Wasser, returning home to join her high school friend’s defense team.

With The Heart to Kill, her début novel, Dorothy M. Place has created a memorable suspense story. It is a compelling read, drawing you close to Sarah, her life, feelings, and to the case. Dorothy M. Place knows how to keep you glued to the story, you want to find the truth and/or reasons why as much as Sarah. Sarah is highly believable, tenderly introduced by the author; in brief: I liked Sarah a lot. The story develops in a calm way, thus underlining its intensity; it comprises authentic characters, interesting turns, and has a good flow.

This is a book for you if you like suspense stories with believable characters and psychological aspects, and if you appreciate subtle suspense.


In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:
Violence :mrgreen:
Sexual content 😳


About the author

Dorothy Place lives and works in Davis, California. Since submitting her first short story for publication in 2008, she has had nine stories accepted for publication, one of which won first prize in the Mendocino Coast Writers Short Story Contest and the prestigious Estelle Frank Fellowship (2010). Her début novel, The Heart to Kill, inspired by Euripides play, Medea, as well as the many newspaper accounts of women who have taken the lives of her children, searches for the underlying causes of these horrendous crimes. When not writing, she works on her bonsai collection, travels, and hikes.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about The Heart to Kill?  Or – if you did not yet read The Heart to Kill – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂







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