Author: L.A. Larkin

First Victim by L. A Larkin

Posted on October 6, 2023 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 10 Comments

First Victim delivered my first taste of L. A Larkin’s work, and it definitely will not be my last. In this, the third book in the Sally Fairburn Crime Thriller, Larkin delivered a page turning tale that will delight fans of crime fiction. Read on and learn the reason First Victim is a must-read.


First Victim by L. A LarkinTitle: First Victim
Author(s): L.A. Larkin
Series: Sally Fairburn #3
Published by Bookouture on October 3, 2023
Pages: 381
Genre(s): Crime Fiction, Mystery
Source: Publisher
Format: eArc
Purchase: Amazon|Audible

The doorbell chimes loudly. Her husband answers. Muffled voices. Then a crash. The sound of her husband’s body falling to the floor. “Joseph…?” Her voice wobbles. And she knows instantly—she should have stayed silent…
Ex-cop Sally Fairburn has put the world of crime behind her, but when her old boss contacts her about working her first case as a detective, she can’t resist. The high-profile Austin case will be her first opportunity to prove herself.
Retired accountant Joseph Austin has been found dead and his wife, Fiona , in a coma, in their exclusive Peakhurst mansion. It’s a suspected burglary gone wrong, but something about the murder scene doesn’t add why is nothing valuable missing?
Nobody seems to know who might want to hurt this sweet old pair, but as Sally investigates, she discovers the wealthy couple weren’t as popular as she first thought. They’d been embroiled in heated arguments with their neighbor, ex-con Salvador Sobral , for months. His is the strongest motive she can find.
But before Sally can pounce, she receives a chilling call. Sobral has been brutally murdered with a thin strip of wire. Racing to find the missing link between the murders, Sally grows ever more desperate to catch the killer—especially when her violent ex-husband returns to his post with the Franklin police department, determined to discredit her.
Fiona Austin holds the answers Sally needs. But will she come round from her coma before the murderer strikes again? Or will the killer lead Sally down a dangerous path that will leave her balancing on a knife edge between life and death?
The third gripping instalment in the addictive Sally Fairburn crime thriller series, perfect for fans of Lisa Regan, Gregg Olsen and Melinda Leigh. Be prepared to stay up all night…

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.



First Victim captivated from start to finish with its riveting storyline. From page one I surmised this would be a solid tale and each chapter reinforced my assumption.

The story began with the attack of a prominent elderly couple in their home. The male, Joseph Austin, was murdered while his wife, Fiona, was left in a coma. Enters ex police officer Sally Fairburn. Sally’s former boss, reached out to her six months after the incident. He wants her to act as a consulting detective in solving the crime. Hesitant at first because of a traumatic past, Sally accepted after encouragement from friends and her son.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind was who attacked the lovely couple and why. As Sally and her partner dug into the case, the bigger the puzzle grew. She discovered all is not as it appeared. The myriad of suspects only left her with more questions than answers. 

As it was my first time reading the series, I knew nothing about Sally. However, Larkin did an excellent job in portrayal of the heroine. Sally is one tough cookie. She survived an abusive marriage, and since then she has taken back control of her life. I feared she would allow this return to Franklin to undermine her progress, but she triumphed. He was pure evil, and I kept hoping with each page turn he would get his just deserts.

The thing that made this story so riveting was the complexity of the case. This one kept me guessing until the end. The shocking outcome made it even more satisfying.

I was impressed with my first experience with Larkin, which led to the addition of books one and two to my reading list. 




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About L.A. Larkin

L.A. Larkin’s crime and psychological thrillers have won her fans all over the world. With high praise from Marie Claire and crime writer Lee Child, Louisa’s thrilling novels are a must-read that will have you staying up all night..

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Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading

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