The Unknown Beloved by Amy Harmon

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I am thoroughly convinced that Amy Harmon can write anything. She is an author that can jump from genre to genre with such ease and agility, and I am HERE for it every time!

In The Unknown Beloved, we are taken to the 1930’s for a murder mystery. I didn’t realize this until over halfway through the book, but the serial killer, and many of the characters were real people, and that made me love this book even more! Dani is a fictional character, but she is a fantastic MC, and as Harmon hinted at in the author’s note, I agree…more stories of her and Mike would be awesome!

Mike and Dani meet on the night of her parents’ deaths. He, a police officer called to the scene, and she, a now orphaned little girl. He escorts her to her aunts’ home in Cleveland. We jump forward in time, and fate brings the two of them back together! Mike becomes a boarder in Dani’s home as he is assigned to help Eliot Ness capture The Butcher of Kingsbury Run.

The story had a magical realism aspect as Dani has an ability to touch cloth and see things about the person that owned it. It’s a really cool ability, and it plays into the story wonderfully. The rest of the story is completely grounded in non-magical abilities of police officers to investigate a murder, and I enjoyed this one magical ability.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I thought the plot was wonderful, and I loved how Harmon wove the historical information into Dani and Mike’s story. This is a bit gruesome, so readers with delicate tummies beware…The Butcher serial killer was an accurate name for this monster. He left his victims in pieces, and the victims are described throughout the story. It’s not gory, but you know what happened to them.

I would highly recommend this one for readers that enjoy a murder mystery or police procedural!

Where to Find This Book:

Amazon ~ Goodreads

More Books That I Recommend from Amy Harmon:

What the Wind Knows – Historical fiction with time travel
The First Girl Child – Fantasy
From Sand and Ash – Historical Fiction
Where the Lost Wander – Historical Fiction

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, Malone’s and Dani’s paths cross 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.

Just the Facts:

The Unknown Beloved by Amy Harmon
Genre: Historical Mystery
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pub Date: April 19, 2022

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I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.

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