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River Bodies

(Northampton County #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  7,391 ratings  ·  604 reviews
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 a
Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Thomas & Mercer
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Zella Yes, but she's not the main character. It's focused more on Patrick and the people in his next case. But still a great book.…moreYes, but she's not the main character. It's focused more on Patrick and the people in his next case. But still a great book.(less)

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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  7,391 ratings  ·  604 reviews

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Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads-won
3.5 stars rounded up to a 4

Becca Kingsley has returned to her hometown after being away for ten years; although she wasn't too far away, she was just across the river. When she receives word that her estranged father is dying, she returns home, mainly for some time away from the troubles in her personal life, but also to say goodbye. Returning home always brings back memories as does contact with those from our past. When Becca returns home, she remembers why she has not returned, becomes reacqu
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received River Bodies, a new novel written by Karen Katchur coming out in fall 2018, through NetGalley. Besides having a gorgeous cover and an interesting title, the premise was intriguing enough for me to say yes when the publisher offered it. I'm glad I did as it had a wonderful balance of mystery and good old-fashioned storytelling.

The book is told from the perspective of several different characters across a county on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey border. Bodies have been found over seve
Becca returns to her hometown of Portland, Pennsylvania, to be with her dying father. Becca has been living just across the river in New Jersey, but hasn't been back to Portland to visit her father or old friends for 10 years. Her arrival in town coincides with a murder that is very similar to an unsolved murder that occurred 20 years earlier in the same town. Becca's old friend Parker, who is now a detective, works to uncover who is behind the deaths. Meanwhile, Becca confronts old secrets in h ...more
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

River Bodies by Karen Katchur was a slow burn of a novel that I didn't consider a mystery or a thriller, but I still enjoyed it.

What it's about: Becca Kingsley's dad was the chief of police in Portland, Pennsylvania for many years, but now he is retired and dying. Even though she is estranged from him, when she gets the call that he is nearing the end Becca goes home to be with him. While she is home, a body washes up from the Delaware River and the murder looks a lot like a cold ca
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Sometimes it’s nice to mix things up within a genre, so many times I’m craving a fast paced and exciting thriller with twists and turns galore and then other times I’m in the mood for a really well written slow burn, and River Bodies fits the bill perfectly. It’s funny because the pacing itself wasn’t even slow at all, but the writing style and the way the story unfolded was more subdued so it was almost a mix between the two. Either way it worked well for me and was an intriguing read.
This was
Dee Arr
Oct 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
Listed as a thriller, “River Bodies” beckoned with all the usual temptations the genre offers. I hoped that author Karen Katchur would deliver more than the same tired clichés that normally accompany a book about returning to the old home town during a murder investigation.

It wasn’t the writing style that caused me to lose connection with the book. Ms. Katchur delivers in this area, serving up a prose that describes as well as illuminates, peppering her words with images that at times felt more
Judy D Collins
Check out my Q&A Elevator Ride with Karen Katchur.

Learn the inspiration behind this "standout" new thriller series and some fun and interesting facts about the author. (Thanks to Karen, FUN FUN).

An emotionally resonant tale of fury, tragedy, guilt, and redemption.

The first in this exciting new series: Northampton County —A page-turning, psychologically rich, both "character and plot-driven," a gritty multi-generational, complex suspense thriller of two brutal crimes twenty-years-apart.

Linda Strong
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Becca Kingsley returns to her hometown after many years. Her father, who was once Police Chief, is dying. She has mixed feelings about her father ... he wasn't always the nicest person she knew and he was a serial cheater and didn't much care who knew.

Becca's been living with Matt for 5 years .... and like her father, he is a serial cheater. Becca takes this opportunity to spend whatever time she can with her father and think about her relationship with Matt.

Just to muddy things even fu
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
The story of a young woman returning to the town where she grew up to spend time with her dying father and who is forced to return to the deep-dug memories is well conceived and easy to follow. A murder is committed which resembles a similar one that happened when Becca was a child and now she has to identify the true nature of a person she considered to be her protector. Apart from the plot, I enjoyed reading about Portland, a small town where loyalty goes first. The Author knows how to depict ...more
Jamie Rosenblit
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Secrets that span generations take the forefront in Katchur’s debut, River Bodies, and nearly 20 years apart, dead bodies are found with alarming similarities. In a town where motorcycle gangs have police on their payroll and the lines are seemingly blurred between the good guys and the bad guys, lies Becca, the daughter of the former police chief who has returned home to spend the final days of her father’s life with him. For fans of Allen Eskens, those who enjoy a slow burn with a lot of chara ...more
Dana-Adriana B.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
In the small town of Portland, a body is found. The crime is similar with a cold case from twenty years back.. nice thriller, I couldn't let it go.
Thanks Netgalley for this thrilling story, the first book from Northampton County series.
Karima chermiti
Trigger warning : (view spoiler)

I’m really struggling with this book as a whole; I’m not sure how I feel about it. It has some great things going on for it but mystery wise, it’s so boring and disappointing. It was also so different from what I expected but I could’ve worked with that had it been intriguing but in this case, the book ended and I was left with this hollow feeling that I wanted more than what I got.

In this
Sherri Thacker
This book grabbed me from the very first page and kept me highly on the edge of my seat. Lots of dark secrets throughout the book leading to the twist at the end. I liked how the author put in her many details along the way. It’s a quick read and I read it in 2 days.
Not Quite 4 Stars

I enjoyed River Bodies. In several ways it reminded me of Kendra Elliot’s Mercy Kilpatrick series: citizens on the periphery of the US government. Men deciding what is right and wrong and living by those decisions, whether they are correct or not. A neighbor affected by his long-dead father, someone who earned my empathy. A former chief of police who made bad choices. A daughter picking up the pieces and learning to trust again.

Karen Katchur blended the past and present. The ma
A body washes up in a remote area of Pennsylvania. The man has been murdered. Shot. That's alarming but what is most chilling is the discovery of the rest of his body. Dressed as it were a deer kill. This is the second body to be found along the river. The first was many years ago when Becca was a teenage girl.

When Becca returns home it rekindles both memories and feelings. Can she reconcile with her father? Will the secrets of the past hinder her romance with her old flame? More importantly an
Nov 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, arc
2.5 stars

This book confused my feelings in all sorts of ways! First off if there was one word I could use to describe how this book made me feel it will be melancholy. But don't get me wrong I was totally engaged and the writing was so good. But the real question is did I like it? I did and yet I didn't... Like I said it was a good book but it just downright depressed me. I also felt disconnected from the characters. Actually, I felt disconnected from the whole book. Yet again engaging read... T
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was the "Thriller" selection for Amazon's October First Reads books. I'm not quite sure when the thrill was supposed to set in. This book is about a motorcycle gang, the daughter of a police chief, corruption, murders and yet it was predictable and a bit boring. There was no mystery as to who committed the murders and the characters were bland. The plot had promise, as all plots with repressed memories do but this one fell short. ...more
Hannah Mary McKinnon
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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!
Christina McDonald
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
River Bodies is a compelling and dark mystery that shifts from a present day murder to one that happened 20 years ago. The setting is vivid and evocative, the forest and the river lending a fantastic atmosphere to the story.

When Becca catches her boyfriend cheating on her, she returns home to take care of her terminally ill father, whom she’s been estranged from since he sent her away when she was young. While she’s taking care of her father, a murder takes place near her town that has eerie sim
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it
The tale started out slowly for me, and I almost set it down. Becca Kingsley lives on the New Jersey side of the river with her boyfriend just minutes from the animal clinic where she works as a veterinarian. As she makes her morning run along the river, she feels as if someone is watching her. It’s a man she knew as a child. He often watches her, but today he is down by the river and something looks strange. 

Becca has other things on her mind, like that the fact that her boyfriend is cheating o
Autumn in small town America. The leaves on the trees are showing off their best colors, but the people perhaps are not... There has been a brutal murder on the banks of the Delaware River, and the people of the town are not forthcoming with information. This is a tourist town - especially in the fall when nature paints a pretty picture. There is a local farm market next to the pedestrian bridge and the locals want the tourists to view their town as a place where nothing bad could happen. Yet, t ...more
Alysse Dale
Oct 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
The book was a quick easy read, but there were so many plot holes that it got to be painful. I was disappointed at the underdevelopment of characters and motives.
Linda Zagon
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Karen Katchur, Author of “River Bodies” has written a suspenseful, captivating, intriguing, intense, riveting, and thrilling story. The Genres for this novel are Fiction, Mystery, Suspense and Thriller. The author describes her interesting characters as complex and complicated. Karen Katchur had me sitting at the edge of my seat. There are twists and turns, betrayals , danger, secrets and murder. The timelines of the story is set both in the past and the present. The common denominator seems to ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Murdery mystery in Northampton County (US)

When Becca was a child a murdered man was found in her local river. Now, years later, she is back in her hometown and thinks she has seen something suspicious. Could it be linked to the murder that has just been committed, and is that linked to the murder of years ago?

Becca doesn't trust her boyfriend, so visits her dying estranged father to give herself a chance to think. Whilst out in the local woods Becca sees something, which means nothing to her at
Bethany Clark
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book pulled me in from the first chapter through to the end.
It's a story that brings together both the past and the present with two dead bodies and one killing style that can't be forgotten.
A town that is known to live peacefully (as much as you can) with a gang. The Scion's take care of the people and the people stay hush about their business until one day when a young woman returned to town to say goodbye to her ailing father, the retired head of the police department.
Memories she
This was my pick for my free Amazon Prime 'first reads' (or whatever they call it) for October. Not a great set of choices this month - especially with 1/3 of the books being for children.

Geographically speaking, Becca hasn’t strayed far from her childhood home, living just 15 minutes away on the other side of the river. Emotionally and familiarly though she’s a million miles away. It takes catching her long term boyfriend cheating with other women to send her back ‘home’ to her terminally ill
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
River Bodies by Karen Katchur is a so-so novel about relationships rather than a murder mystery. It is not a thriller.

Becca Kingsley lives across the Delaware River from where she grew up in Portland, Pennsylvania and where her estranged father still lives. After his constant cheating on her mom, his decision to send her away to boarding school, and her parents' divorce, she hasn't seen him for years. Now she is a veterinary surgeon on the New Jersey side of the river where she lives with her be
Oct 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol Boyer
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The complexities of relationships and the paradox between Good and Evil, are striking in this gripping thriller. I was holding my breath, shedding tears, and deeply engrossed till the very last sentence as Karen Katchur's richly developed characters lept off the pages with fear and compassion. Long ago hidden secrets were between the alternating chapters of young Becca and the present, layered with the forboding words of her father as she struggled to understand the meaning of his behaviors and ...more
Susan Peterson
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
River Bodies is a book that captured my attention from the very first page, not letting it go until I reached the end. Compelling and dark, this story took me on a journey filled with suspense and secrets. This was also an emotional journey of regret and distrust. The setting of the story is so well-detailed I felt as if I were on that river with its decaying leaves and was a setting that created an atmosphere that lent itself to the story. A gripping page-turner that you won’t want t ...more
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Karen Katchur is an award-winning suspense novelist with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a master's degree in Education. She lives in Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. ...more

Other books in the series

Northampton County (3 books)
  • Cold Woods (Northampton County, #2)
  • Spring Girls (Northhampton County #3)

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Secrets between siblings, grandparents with grievances, parents with problems. If you're looking for serious drama, check out these new...
27 likes · 3 comments
“The only reason for a grown woman to return home was if she had failed in some aspect in her life. Or if her father was dying. Or both.” 1 likes
“It’s my body, my sickness, and I’m alone with it. You can be here with me, hold my hand, wipe my brow. But I’ll still be alone with it.” 0 likes
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