The Cobra Murders Review
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Over 30 years ago, a serial killer murdered Detective Simon Keirsey’s mother, an aspiring actress. Now, the house where they used to live has been converted into the Museum of Modern American History. He has no plans to go back there—that is, until he discovers that his hot new neighbor works there.

Things get complicated when Simon begins investigating a crop of murders with an MO that reminds him of the serial killer who killed his mother. The killer leaves a voodoo doll with a cobra stitched on the front at each murder scene—something that has special meaning for Simon.

Meanwhile, Alice McClure’s boss at the Museum of Modern American History is pressing her to get the voodoo exhibit up and running. She really has no time for any distractions, but her new neighbor gives her plenty of that—in a very good way. But then the ghost of an actress who haunts the museum warns Alice that she might be next on a serial killer’s list.

As Simon chases an elusive killer, he tries his best to keep Alice safe. But it’s hard to protect her when the killer doesn’t seem to follow any type of pattern, besides leaving voodoo dolls as a cryptic message for Simon.

The Cobra Murders is a well written thriller with some intense moments, but the characters aren’t particularly engaging, and the plot doesn’t work in some areas. The serial killer often comes off sounding stupid—especially when he laughs like a maniac when he thinks he’s being clever. That only works in cheesy cartoons. The author also makes an effort to make Simon a bit quirky by giving him a “thing” about getting his feet wet (he hates it), but it ends up making him sound like a geeky loser. Alice, meanwhile, just doesn’t stand out. She could be any woman in a million, which, in turn, makes her a vanilla character.

Though author Jane Greenhill made an effort to throw readers off the scent of the serial killer, when he’s unveiled, it’s really no surprise. Meanwhile, other parts of the story seem completely unnecessary—especially one involving Simon’s reporter ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. The whole scene seems to have been thrown in to liven up the plot, but, instead, it falls flat.

The premise of The Cobra Murders is an interesting one: a serial killer returns after 30 years to taunt the son of one of his earlier victims. Unfortunately, the author failed to make the story and characters intriguing or plausible enough to keep me hooked.

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