The First Death by Kendra Elliot

May 2nd, 2024 Kimberly Review 6 Comments

2nd May

Rowan Wolff is a search and rescue expert who is still searching for answers from her own tragic past in this suspenseful mystery thriller. If you’re not familiar with Kendra Elliot, this book is the ideal starting point.

The First Death by Kendra Elliot
The First Death
by Kendra Elliot
Series: Columbia River #4
Genres: Mystery
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

For a search and rescue expert, the buried remains of her past are a dangerous obsession in a twisting novel of suspense by a Wall Street Journal and Amazon Charts bestselling author.

Rowan Wolff was five years old when she, her brother, and their babysitter were kidnapped by a serial killer in the Pacific Northwest. The babysitter was murdered. Rowan was saved. Her brother was killed and buried in the forest, his remains never found. The convicted killer refuses to say where he buried the boy. Twenty-five years later, Rowan is committed to search and rescue with her faithful canine and is obsessed with finding her brother’s grave—and closure.

Detective Evan Bolton thrives on unraveling tough cases, but his latest is disturbing. There’s another serial killer hunting in Deschutes County, Oregon, and the crimes are identical to those committed by the sociopath languishing in prison. Each victim is linked to Rowan. When skeletal remains of several bodies are exhumed in the forest, Rowan’s connection becomes more entwined and impossible to ignore.

Rowan and Evan are determined to solve the case before someone else dies. And someone else will, as the truth about the past is unearthed.


Kendra Elliot has a knack for pulling readers into her stories and holding them there until the end. Such was the case with The First Death. Rowan Wolff was kidnapped as a child, along with her brother. She made it out of the woods. He did not. Now, as a search and rescue expert, she can’t help but to look for her brother’s remains in the woods surrounding her town in the Pacific Northwest.

When a grave is found with several remains, Rowan thinks maybe her brother is among them. Detective Evan Bolton is concerned that they have another serial killer on their hands. One whose murders match those of the serial killer they convicted years ago.

A side of romance, a rescue dog, and a twisted murder-mystery with a harrowing tale of kidnapping and torture kept me on edge. I loved how the cases blended together and the twists Elliot threw our way. I felt for Rowan’s family and appreciated getting to know both Evan and Rowan.

The First Death is part of the Columbia River series, but each book holds its own with its own case. I am slightly behind on the series and ready to dive into At the River before The Next Grave releases in December.

Fans of murder-mystery, law enforcement and romantic suspense will want to grab the series available in KindleUnlimited and on Audible.

Amazon* | Audible


About Kendra Elliot

Kendra Elliot

An Amazon #1 selling author, Kendra Elliot has sold over 4 million books. She grew up in the lush Pacific Northwest and still lives there with her husband, three daughters, two cats, and a Pomeranian. She's fascinated with forensics, refuses to eat anything green, and dreams of living every day in flip flops. The BONE SECRETS NOVELS: HIDDEN, CHILLED, BURIED, ALONE, KNOWN and VEILED (a novella) The CALLAHAN & McLANE novels are a spin-off of the Bone Secrets books. VANISHED, BRIDGED, SPIRALED, and TARGETED. The MERCY KILPATRICK series, a spin-off of the CALLAHAN & McLANE series, A MERCIFUL DEATH, A MERCIFUL TRUTH, and A MERCIFUL SECRET. She also writes the Rogue River novella series with author Melinda Leigh. A four-time Wall Street Journal best selling author, 2014 International Thriller Writers finalist, a three time Daphne Du Maurier winner, and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice finalist.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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6 Responses to “The First Death by Kendra Elliot”

  1. Sophia Rose

    I was so glad that Evan got his own series story with this one. Whew, the case was a tough one and especially for Rowan and her family.