The Third Side of Murder

Fiction - Crime
244 Pages
Reviewed on 12/02/2021
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Author Biography

A former journalist and business executive, Joseph LeValley is the author of four published mystery-thriller novels. The four books have won a total of seven awards and recognitions from competitions in the U.S. and Canada. LeValley is has a B.A. in Journalism from Drake University and an MBA from the University of Iowa. Also a musician and composer, he was inducted into the Iowa Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. He and his wife, Jane, have six children and live in Dallas County, Iowa.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Steve Leshin for Readers' Favorite

The Third Side of Murder by Joseph LeValley is the latest novel in the Tony Harrington Series and may be the best one yet. It works as a standalone thriller as well. The story begins off the Amalfi coast of southwest Italy. Tony must attend a family funeral for his Italian niece, Noemi. Everyone loved Noemi, a beautiful young woman of twenty-six who lived in a small village in Amalfi where everyone knows whatever is going on in town. She tragically falls to her death, dancing atop a narrow stone wall overlooking the magnificent coastline. The villagers knew she did this routine almost every day and, as a trained dancer, she never seemed to be in any danger, until the day she fell. Tony Harrington, a newspaper reporter from Iowa, could not believe her death was an accident, even though his relatives and natives of the small village keep telling him it was. His curiosity gets the better of him and despite being discouraged by everyone in town, he investigates the cause of Noemi’s death.

The Third Side of Murder is packed with major and minor characters, each contributing to the suspense and intrigue as Tony investigates why certain people want him to go back home and forget his quest for the truth. His inquiries lead to a possible serial killer from New York on the loose and dangerous meetings with Mafia types who do not wish to be disturbed by the brass and an intrepid small-town reporter. Joseph LeValley has created a likable, but flawed character in Tony Harrington, who has a habit of sticking his nose in places that get him into trouble, and cause problems for his steadfast friend, Doug Tenney, and his newspaper boss and editor, Ben. Tony’s quest to find answers takes him to Naples and New York City as well. There are scary crime bosses, a sadistic killer, and a femme fatale love interest named Erica. I especially liked the descriptions of iconic eateries in Italy and New York as well as Tony’s pal Doug’s penchant to eat anything on the menu while in the Big Apple. Be prepared for some clever twists and turns building up to a climax and, most of all, enjoy the ride!