Review: One Left Alive (Detective Morgan Brookes #1) by Helen Phifer

When the body of a woman is found hanging from a tree in her front garden, rookie Detective Morgan Brookes is first on the scene. But Olivia Potter is past saving. And when her husband and daughters cannot be traced, Morgan knows there is more to this tragedy. And then she finds them. Lying huddled together in the dark basement, each of their faces covered with a small cotton cloth, their bodies cold to the touch.


I am always on the hunt for new crime thrillers. Luckily, Bookouture has been on the roll this year. Thanks to this publisher, I keep discovering new favorites. The Detective Morgan series is the latest addition to my ever growing list of best cop procedurals to follow.

Detective Morgan Brookes is new on the job. She is on her first solo patrol when a call comes in about a possible suicide. Morgan is first on the scene and soon finds herself recruited by the Detectives Unit assigned to the case. Morgan is easy to root for. She is young, new on the force and already has great instincts that make her a good detective. She is astute and relentless in the search for answers.

This was a twisted case. At first, I was curious about the victims. I wondered how and why a whole family was attacked. My curiosity sky rocketed when a cold case with similar details was unearthed.

I admit the reveal didn’t come as a total shock. Maybe I have read too many crime thrillers but I was able to partly solve this one before the cops did. There were, however, aspects of the case that I couldn’t have worked out. The motive also came as a complete shock. I thought I had guessed the ‘why’ but wow, I never saw that coming.

This is a promising series that is off to a great start. Fast –paced, well-written and captivating, One Left Alive has left me eager to find out what is next for Detective Morgan Brookes.


  1. I recently grabbed this one when I saw the second one coming out and now I am anxious to get to it. I don’t read as many thrillers as you do Diana, so I might not figure it out. It definitely sounds like a series I will enjoy and I hope I can get to it before the end of the year. Wonderful review Diana and you definitely hooked me.

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