The Unknown Beloved by @aharmon_author #BookReview #Romance #Thriller


I’m grateful to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the opportunity to read The Unknown Beloved from one of the best authors I’ve ever encountered, Amy Harmon.

This is a spine-tingling romance set against the backdrop of 1930’s Cleveland where a serial killer named The Butcher hunts the streets.

Based on a true story.

Click the cover to learn more.

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From the bestselling author of Where the Lost Wander and What the Wind Knows comes the evocative story of two people whose paths collide against the backdrop of mystery, murder, and the Great Depression.

Chicago, 1923: Ten-year-old Dani Flanagan returns home to find police swarming the house, her parents dead. Michael Malone, the young patrolman assigned to the case, discovers there’s more to the situation—and to Dani Flanagan herself—than the authorities care to explore. Malone is told to shut his mouth, and Dani is sent away to live with her spinster aunts in Cleveland.

Fifteen years later, Michael Malone is summoned to Cleveland to investigate a series of murders that have everyone stumped, including his friend and famed Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, now Cleveland’s director of safety. There, in a city caught in the grip of a serial killer, Dani and Malone cross paths once again.

Malone is drawn to Dani and her affinity for the dead and compassion for the destitute. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that she could help him solve his case. As terror descends on the city and Malone and Dani confront the dark secrets that draw them together, it’s a race to find the killer or risk becoming his next victims.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

My Review

A killer is playing macabre games with Cleveland police.

When patrolman, Michael Malone is sent to the home of a known gangster, he isn’t surprised to find the man lying dead in a pool of blood, though it saddens him that the man’s wife was caught in the crossfire. And worse than that, the couple’s ten-year-old daughter, Dani, barely avoided becoming a victim herself.

He feels a connection to the girl and her seeming ability to read emotions from bolts of cloth. Reeling from the loss of his own child, Malone comforts the child and sees that she arrives safely at her spinster aunts’ home in Cleveland.

Years later, Malone is called back from a job in the Bahamas to help his old friend, Eliot Ness, now the Safety Director in Cleveland. It seems they have a monster roaming the streets, randomly choosing victims to behead, chop to pieces, and distribute around a vagrant’s area of the city known as Kingsbury Run. Malone is uniquely suited to the investigation as a member of a group called The Unknowns- men who work under the radar and answer to The President of the United States. He specializes in listening and can fit into any environment- including the areas haunted by The Butcher.

Eliot has a room rented for him in a beautiful old Victorian, the home and seamstress business of the Kos’s, Dani’s family.

She was little more than a child the last time he saw her, but Dani Flanigan has grown into a beautiful young woman in the intervening years. She’s a distraction when he should be focusing on his job. Malone lost his wife and two children, he’s seen the worst of humanity, but there’s something about the sweet innocence of Dani and her inquisitive mind that draws him. He’s afraid. Scared she’ll be hurt when he leaves. Frightened he’ll be lost without her.

It’s horrifying to think monsters like The Butcher use the poor and downtrodden to slake their heinous hunger for depravity. This story gives insight into their behaviors and what makes a psychotic act out on their fantasies. It would be a dark read if not for the budding romance between a man who fears he has nothing to live for and the woman determined to prove him wrong.

The Uknown Beloved is a five+ star read.

34 thoughts on “The Unknown Beloved by @aharmon_author #BookReview #Romance #Thriller

    1. Thanks for the share, Michael! I hope you have a sunny week 🙂

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  1. I love the setting and the time it takes place. Thanks very much for the review, Jacquie! Have a nice week! xx Michael

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There’s an aura of mystery to that time period, with prohibition and gangsters- makes for entertaining books!

      Like

  2. Thanks for the review, Jacquie. This sounds like a great read!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It was! You should try Where the Lost Wander, Jill- highly recommended!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jacquie 💕🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s an amazing author, Harmony. I’m sure you’d enjoy her work.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This sounds really engrossing, Jacquie, and I love the time period it’s set in. Fabulous review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a tough time setting it aside for sleep, lol

      Like

  5. I love stories set in the Depression era. This sounds like a very compelling read and I agree that Amy Harmon is a fabulous author! Thanks for sharing, Jacquie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eliot Ness helped take down Al Capone- interesting stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader February 7, 2022 — 7:10 am

    I have a copy headed my way thanks to Amy Jacquie and I can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re going to love it, Sophie!

      Like

  7. D.L. Finn, Author February 7, 2022 — 10:01 am

    Great review, Jacquie 🙂 I haven’t read this author, but got this on preorder to fix that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s so good, Denise! If you get a chance, try The Songbook of Benny Lament- my #1 pick of 2021!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. D.L. Finn, Author February 8, 2022 — 9:39 am

        Its on my TBar list 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! This books sounds awesome! Thank you for sharing it Jacquie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love books set in this time period, Balroop. There’s an added dimension to knowing this is based on real events.

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  9. Wow, amazing review, Jacquie. This sounds like a great read. Thank you for pointing it out and giving us a short preview. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The author sets a dramatic scene in this thriller, Gwen- excellent read!

      Like

  10. This really sounds good, Jacquie. And your review hits all the points I look for.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love this time period and that it’s based on a true story. Thanks for sharing, Jacquie!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This sounds like a good one, Jacquie. That it’s based on a true story always makes me a little squeamish, especially about serial killers. Thanks for sharing the book and your awesome review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It made me want to research Eliot Ness- fascinating man.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love it when a book (or film) sends me to the internet searching. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. petespringerauthor February 7, 2022 — 5:49 pm

    The unusual twist plot makes this one sound intriguing. Thanks for the review, Jacquie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 7, 2022 — 5:51 pm

      *plot twist—Is proofreading still a thing?😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol, they need an edit button on this thing 😂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I like learning about history through fiction. My mind retains it better for some reason, lol

      Like

  14. An historical thriller! That’s a big, “Yes!”

    Liked by 1 person

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