The Writer by Miranda Smith review: A slow-burn mystery that has you guessing

If you're looking for a slow-burn mystery, The Writer by Miranda Smith is one to check out. Here's my review of the book.
New York City Subway Traffic
New York City Subway Traffic / Robert Nickelsberg/GettyImages

Thrillers and mysteries need to have the right pacing. That is something The Writer by Miranda Smith gets pretty well, leading to a great story that leaves you guessing until the end.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book thanks to NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Writer follows a woman who wants to be, well, a writer. She has dreams of becoming a novelist, but soon her dreams start to turn into a nightmare. A real life murder mystery nightmare.

Becca is one of those characters that you can see bits of yourself in, making it easy to connect with her. You’re not going to see yourself in every aspect of her, but that’s okay. You don’t need to as you work through the events of the story and figure out who the murderer is.

What is The Writer by Miranda Smith about?

The novel follows Becca, who has a traumatic past and a dream of becoming a novelist. She meets with her writing group, Mystery Maidens, every week. They all chat about their works in progress, supporting each other and sharing ideas and ways to improve the writing.

However, things take a turn when bits and pieces of everyone’s book starts to become real in Becca’s life. Who wants to attack her, and why are they using the pieces of other people’s books? That has to mean it’s someone in the Mystery Maidens, right?

The Writer book review

The pacing of the book is on the slower side at first. We have to take time getting to know Becca and the people in her life. We get to know her backstory a little, although that is teased slowly throughout the book so we’re not thrown into her trauma immediately.

I like the pacing, especially once we get around 20% into the book. Things start to pick up quickly once the first incident happens. From there, we follow her on this mission to figure out who is doing what and why.

I didn’t see the twist coming at the end. It’s always fun when the author is able to get me with the twists. That’s the sign of a good thriller. I have looked back at some parts of the book and seen the clues. So, it’s not that the twist came out of nowhere; just that the clues were well written.

One thing that I adored with this book is the way the women support each other. When one of the group members gets her pitch accepted, there isn’t a lot of jealousy that goes around. The focus is on congratulating her. We all need women in our lives who support each other. Just because someone else gets your dream doesn’t mean that you can’t.

Plus, we get to see the different types of authors. One of the authors self-publishes and doesn’t make living from that, but she doesn’t mind. She also loves her day job. There isn’t any clear judgment from that, as we figure that everyone has their own wishes and dreams.

Overall, the book has good pacing and a good twist. I like that we get to know a lot of the characters, although they’re through Becca’s opinions rather than getting to know the actual characters. That’s just a flaw in first person POV writing.

My only complaint is that it’s short. It’s less than 300 pages, and I would have loved for more twists, maybe taking it to around 400 pages.

Stars: 4.5 out of 5.

25 best shows on Netflix if you love Outlander. 25 best shows on Netflix if you love Outlander. dark. Next

The Writer by Miranda Smith is available on Amazon.